Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Me Again!

I bet you thought that I'd left and decided to never come back! Right? Well, you can't get rid of me that easy!

It has been almost an entire month since I last posted! But it was a very full month and I will try to give you a brief re-cap.

My Mom came to visit and the preparations before her arrival and all the hoop-lah that accompanied her visit took up most of my time. I really didn't even give my blog one thought while she was here.

We decided to go to Douala as a family and pick her and Gerald and Kathy Whitely up. The trip there was long, because we were anticipating seeing Mimi!! But the kids did great and we arrived early enough to grab a bite to eat and check in at the Baptist Guest House. We headed to the airport and stood outside on the big veranda that overlooked the tarmac. We heard and saw Mimi's plane come in and waited until we saw her disembark until we headed to the luggage area. Ben got special access and was able to meet them inside baggage claim, but the kids and I went to the second level of the airport where we stood on a balcony overlooking the baggage claim area. It was nice and breezy up there actually, and a great place to wait. Normally they kick you out of there and make you stand outside in the heat, but thankfully they were too busy to notice us.

I told the kids that as soon as they saw Mimi or Mr. Gerald or Miss Kathy to all whistle together. I gave them a little demo of the whistle and we all practiced it. It's actually the Whitely's special little "E-I-E" call that they made up. Those who know the Whitely's know exactly what I'm talking about. So, we finally saw them enter the baggage claim area. I told the kids to whistle as loud as they could and they finally looked up and saw us waiting up there. What was SO, so cute was when Kate saw them. I heard her trying to whistle, but she was so happy and excited, and fighting back tears that she just kept blowing and blowing with all her might, trying to get a whistle to come out of her mouth, but it just wouldn't come. Oh man, that girl melted my heart! When we finally met up with Mimi she just ran to her crying and said that she just couldn't help it...she was so happy. Goodness...I'm teary even typing it! She is just like me actually. I was teary b/c I was so happy to see Mimi too!

Praise God every piece of luggage arrived in tact! That really is almost a miracle here! One of these days I need to type out the Yeiters recent luggage story. Theirs was missing for a month! Anyway...we left the airport and headed to a restaurant called the Mediterranean.

Seriously...that has to be the yummiest pizza joint. It even rivals my pizza! haha! :) It is owned by a Greek family and their pizza is amazing. We got veggie and feta cheese pizza. MmmmMmmm! It is a good thing there isn't one located in Bamenda or we'd be broke!

We spent the night in Douala and headed home the next day. Our trip back was way more fun with Mimi and the Whitely's in the van. We did however have a breakdown. We kept overheating. The first time Gerald and Ben found a ruptured hose. They rigged it and got it repaired. But not long down the road it overheated again. We were in a purely french speaking area and this kid walks up to us and says in french that he is a mechanic. He was so young...I wouldn't even say he was 20 years old. But when all was said and done that kid flat knew what he was doing and God sent him directly to us! We lost a couple hours, but we finally arrived home safe and sound and very tired!

The next couple weeks were absolutely crazy for Ben and Gerald. Gerald was booked solid in all the area schools to share his creation/evolution lectures. Evolution is taught here in all the schools and nobody has ever been taught creationism. Gerald has several video presentations and replica fossils and he lectures on this issue with the ultimate goal of using it to share the gospel. He had 17 meetings and he probably averaged about 200 students in each meeting. Here is one picture of him teaching the smallest group of students during his visit.While the guys were out and about we were basically home a lot. The only downside to the entire visit was that the kids were sick. Really really sick. Drew came down with the virus first, but he ran a fever for so many days that I finally started treating him with an antibiotic and for malaria as well. The kids hadn't been this sick in a while. They wouldn't eat...all they would do was lay around and sleep. It was terrible. I was thankful to have a couple extra Mom's here to offer their advice and it was nice that we could all just be home together rather than running around.

We did venture out the first Saturday to a ladies meeting in Sabga. Mom and Kathy and I shared a plate of Fufu and Njamajama. Well...basically they tried it and I ate most of it. Then, on the next Saturday we hosted a missionary ladies luncheon. I reserved a spot at the new restaurant our family discovered and talked to the Chef. He planned a buffet meal to feed all of us and it turned out wonderfully! The ladies came from Foumban and all of us ladies here met together and had a great time of fellowship. The food was delish...and Kathy was our guest speaker. We had a great time!
Mom could never get over all the critters we constantly have here. We are always oohing and ahhhing over something. We found this huge beetle on our porch one morning. Drew and I will chase stuff down to have a better look. I got a good shot so you could see the perspective of size.
Mom also had a picnic with the kids one day and I got this great group shot of all of them.
On the last Monday that they were here, we decided to go into town as a family. Kate was still kinda down and out, and Emma and Faith were coming down with the nasty virus, but they weren't into the worst part of it yet, so we decided to go ahead and go. We ate at the same restaurant where we had the ladies luncheon and then went to the Pres-Craft store so they could pick up some souvenirs before leaving. The owner of the Pres-Craft is new and we actually couldn't determine his nationality. He was white and had some unique accent...I'll let you know if I find out. :D He told us to check out the coffee shop next door. So...we did! I'm not a coffee fan, but my Mom can't live without it. We bought a coffee pot just for her visits. Anyway, we went next door into this really adorable coffee shop. Mom got a cappucino! Can you believe it? And she said it was really good! They served it with sugar and this adorable little heartshaped biscuit. Wow...who would have thought we'd have a "hip" coffee shop in little 'Ol Bamenda?! Here's Mom enjoying her cappucino: I'm not sure how well it will catch on to the Africans...the shop was full of white people only! In fact, Mom and the Whitely's commented that they'd never seen so many white people in Cameroon before. We met a group of kids in the coffee shop that were from various parts of the states, and then on the other side of them was an older white couple. We never had time to speak to them. It will be interesting to see if that place can actually stay in business. There may be more white people than ever before, but I'm not sure there is enough to sustain an entire restaurant.

Our goodbyes were sad, but it really won't be long until we see them again. Less than a year before we head back to the states for our next furlough. We will start checking off dates on the calendar and looking forward to our visit to America (specifically Taco Bell)...Did I just think that out loud?? :D

Since their visit I have taken up a new hobby. :D Kathy mentioned my sewing machine that is in the guest room where they stayed and I told her I'd love to learn to sew. She said "Well, while we are here, I'll teach you!" I was pretty excited about that. I always tease my Mom that she failed in two areas. She never taught me to play piano or to sew. Both things I've had to learn in my adulthood. She knows I'm just kidding! Anyway, on the day that Mimi had a picnic with the kids, Kathy and I dragged out the sewing machine. We had spent a previous afternoon with the pattern and material and she taught me how to read the pattern and I'd already cut out all the pattern pieces. I was ready to sew it. So, in a few hours time, I made a skirt for Kate all by myself with Kathy's teaching! I have been her pupil since I was a freshman in high school...and she hasn't lost her touch. She is still a great teacher!

I dug out the sewing machine this week with plans on using it to make Christmas gifts. I found a pattern for a little girls purse and tried to make it. The first one turned out cute, though I didn't follow the pattern completely. I rigged it to make it work. I spent a lot of time just staring at the pattern instructions and the material. There was one part I couldn't wrap my head around, so I just took the basic pattern and made it work. I used our market bags from here as the lining and I'm content with the finished product. In the future I'd love to actually do it the correct way, but for now it works ok.
Here is a shot of the market bag that I cut up and used for the inside of the bag:
The part of the pattern instruction that I couldn't get was really bugging me. I spent some time reading and watching sewing tutorials on you tube until I finally figured it out. I actually found a helpful blog with pictures that helped me understand! So, today, with a little more knowledge under my belt, I tried purse number 2. I used a different pattern and did leave out the fusible interfacing (as I don't have that), but I'm SO happy with the results!
Isn't it cute?! I love how it turned out and the great thing is I used all scrap fabric. I used to have red curtains hanging in the kids toy room. I kept them when we changed them out and I'm glad I did. They make a cute little purse if I do say so myself! :D

Ok, so I hope I haven't bored you completely. I'll try to stay updated and please, please keep reading! And if you have time...leave me a comment! Cuz I love comments! :D
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  1. Those purses are great! I've been wanting to make purses for the last couple of years, but I haven't been brave enough to try. It's so fun to read your blog and hear about all of your adventures.

  2. I have missed reading your posts, but I knew that you were enjoying every minute of your mom's visit. So sorry to hear that your kiddos were sick. That is no fun. I love your purses. They are both cute, but the red one is definitely snazzy. Keep up the good work. Also, loved seeing a pic of the missionary ladies. It was nice to see Abby there. We are enjoying having her sister and cousin at PCC as students this year.

  3. Your sewing expedition looks successful! Hope your kids are all well now. Bummer that they were sick while your mom was visiting, but I'm sure she spoiled them anyway. I'm glad that Ben posted your blog of Facebook recently. I'll enjoy seeing what you guys are up to. May God continue to bless your family and ministry there in Cameroon!

    Jennifer Nagle (formerly from Fairfax Baptist Temple and friend of Jamie Sinclair - our kids were in their wedding together if you're not sure who I am!)

  4. Becca,
    Just wanted to let you know that I love reading your blog! I don't know how I came across it, but it is always an encouragement to me! So, last time we met/talked, we were both into digital scrapbooking...this time, we are both into blogging! (I met you at Carissa B.'s house at Northland.)

  5. I wonder how many of us learned how to sew from Mrs. Whitely? I loved taking her home ec class. I have some great memories from her. I remember monkey bread, I loved making it!!! I have so much fun reading your blog. Thanks for the great pictures. I love your purses!!! Love, Jamie Anderson Hill

  6. Sounds like you've been having a wonderful time! I wish I could have heard the lesson about Creationism/Evolution. I love that topic and getting my hands on as much information to back up my beliefs as possible.

    Loved reading about your visit and seeing the photos!

  7. Becca, you are amazing. Those purses are adorable. You can do anything that you put your mind to, like piano playing and sewing. Not to mention that you are a great teacher, cook and such a wonderful daughter. I love you and am so thankful for your sweet spirit and love for our Lord. Remember to kiss those sweet grandbabies for me.

  8. Hey Becca,
    I enjoy reading your blog too even though I never take the time to comment! :) I think it is hilarious that your mom found a coffee shop in that town. As a missionary in France with lots of french-speaking Africans in our church, I can attest that cafés are way more a European thing than an African thing. Great job on the purses. I feel the same way about sewing patterns. Once I get a sewing machine I'd love to learn how to sew too.
    May the Lord continue to use you and your family for His glory!
    Kristi Colas