This morning I woke farily well rested but still with a deep cough. At breakfast I was amused to see that because workers come here from so many different nations in the world and speak so many languages that meats are labeled with pictures of the animal rather that the words in any tongue.
Armel came by in the morning. He was rightly proud to show me his Master’s degree diploma in Clinical Biology, part of his program to become a medical doctor which he should complete later this year. This is quite an accomplishment anywhere, but especially in this part of Africa. The obstacles to young people reaching this level of education are legion. Armel thanked me as representing the church which paid for his school fees over the past several years to make it possible for him to reach this milestone. I was thankful to be part of an organization that helps in these circumstances, and proud of Armel for his hard work and perseverance. God cares for His people even in the most trying of circumstances.
We had a long discussion about the situation in the country and the needs of the little group here which is spread around quite a number of locations. There are members in Douala of course – the economic capital of the country, but also Yaoundé, the political capital, and Eséka, which I have often visited, and farther north in Nkoteng, and beyond. This geographic dispersion is one of the greatest challenges of working with the group here.
I’m trying a new strategy this time, rather than try to visit everyone in their location, or have them travel to Eséka which is not so easy to access, and which requires a great deal of car travel and attendant expenses, I’m having everyone who can do so, travel here to Douala for a day. This allows for less wear and tear on me, and also lets the members from all over spend a bit of time together. They deeply appreciate that after their regular geographic isolation. And the expense to the church should be less than it would be for me to go to all the above mentioned locations. We’ll see how it goes.
Finally arriving in the crush before the Akwa Palace Hotel, we found a place to pull over, waited a moment for a forex man to step forward, negotiated a rate, counted and recounted, agreed with a nod, and drove on.