We flew from DC via Paris and Douala to Yaounde. 12 people, 24 checked bags. Miraculously, all of us and our stuff made it to Yaounde with no issues. Our flights were on time, we had seats and the gobs of stuff we packed all made it.
On our flight, we met an American church planter that was in Yaounde for three years. He was heading back over for a short time to speak at a conference. We also met a Canadian family working for Wycliffe/SIL working on Bible translation with a pygmy tribe, coming back from a year long furlough - Cameroon has an estimated 286 languages. Indeed, a small world.
When we landed, there was a mass of humanity that came to meet us. They all knew our names and faces, had been praying for us for months and carried all of our luggage for us. Included in that were our hosts G and W Nens, who moved from Howard County about 18 months ago and Ptrs, the Navigators Cameroon director. It was a small glimmer of the hospitality and warmth that we would experience for the rest of our trip.
The ride from the airport is in the dark and its pouring rain. Our first taste of transit in Cameroon includes potholes, an intersection with taxis everywhere the eye can see and lots of people out and about, even in the darkness and rain.
All of us went via a bunch of different cars to the Nav center, the house of the former director who had just left for the states a few months ago, for a little reception for our team. When we got there, we were told the power had been out for a few hours. A sometimes daily occurrence in parts of Yaounde, as well as other parts of the world outside the realm of a person from Columbia, MD.
After a short time of introductions and welcomes, all of us left for our host families. Our team split into 4 groups. All the other groups except mine stay with Cameroonian families, all who have deep investment in starting the student ministry here. Another small glimmer of the real depth and commitment of the people here. I and two other guys stay with the Nens, so that we can 'commiserate late at night.'
Photo: Some of our crew at the airport with Ptrs.