A Deeply Meaningful Day

Tuesday, April 04, 2023
Douala, Littoral, Cameroon
Today was a very important day. It was a drizzly day once again, but we had things to do. We were mesmerized in the morning by the thousands of bats that filled the skies. The overcast sky and drizzle brought out clouds of insects which in turn brought clouds of bats out of all the trees. It’s a striking phenomenon in some African cities that there are huge urban populations of large bats. It’s quite amazing to see.
I took Marjolaine to one of the highest rated restaurants in Douala, though not expensive by Western standards. The Bombay Masala is owned and run by an Indian family which has a shop on ground level and the restaurant on the second floor. Yusuf drove us, we would use his services throughout the day. We had a very pleasant lunch, chatting with the owners about India, Bombay in particular, which I have visited a couple of times. I had the staff box up what I couldn’t finish; I gave it to Yusuf.
Back at the hotel we changed clothes gathered our affairs and went to the new shopping mall, near the airport. It’s big and modern and air conditioned, constructed on the model of French malls which are more compact than American malls, when one can even find an American mall now.
We bought what we would need for the Passover service: basins, wine, towels, and so on. We had equipped the local congregation with all this in the past along with a screen to watch sermons and a sound system. But when the decision was made to not renew the lease on the house we rented because only four people were attending there, all the church’s equipment disappeared. No one seems to know what happened to it, which is very disappointing, but sadly not unusual in Cameroon. People just help themselves. In any event, we bought the minimum we would need for the evening and then had Yusuf drive us to the Goshen Ra. We arrived early enough to have everything set well before the members arrived. Some travelled hours in order to arrive here.
We began at 6:30, at sunset. I conducted the Passover service for the 10 of us who were present. I sat with my back to the one air conditioner in the room. 90 degrees is uncomfortably warm, the air con was welcome.
When the service ended, I went to give the hotel owner a down payment on the bill for lodging, hall rental and meals for the few days we’ll be here. Traffic was terribly snarled going back to the hotel. A bus had broken down in a roundabout, and then a semi had broken down behind the bus. Only motorcycles could pass. Finally, the semis in front of us, started going the wrong way around the roundabout. It was a very strange scene. We followed the flow the wrong way around to finally make our way back to the hotel. It has been a tiring but very meaningful day.
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So disappointing that church equipment “disappeared,” and the details of snarled traffic to crowd in on the Passover. Hearing that some members had to travel hours to attend makes your efforts so valuable.

Tess Washington

"Thou shall not steal" was forgotten or just ignored?! Out of 10 during the Passover, only 8 members in the area!

ted franek

thanks for sharing