Monday, March 5, 2012

Come Greet Me

We can hardly believe that it has been over a month since we said goodbye to our families and our life in Nashville to move to Cameroon. Part of living in a different country is gradually trying to learn some of the customs. One custom in Cameroon is that whenever you see someone you know, you should greet them. This means shaking their hand with your right hand. This reflects their people-oriented culture where relationships are highly valued. Even the small children will greet you.

 Isaac had been a little shy and averse to greeting people, but last week he started getting the hang of it. This was a group of kids hanging out in front of the church that Isaac went up and greeted, but at first he used his left hand...

...but then he learned.  There, that's better.  Always shake with your right, Isaac.  The local kids love playing with Isaac and everyone in the village knows him. There is a deaf boarding school here at Mbingo, which serves deaf children all over the country. The deaf children often play in front of the church and like to come over to have Isaac greet them.

We have been trying to develop relationships out of the hospital with some of the residents and other trainees.  We really see this as an area where we can make not just a medical impact, but a spiritual one as well.  We and the Youngs have started hosting some of them at our house for dinner and we serve American food.  This is a picture with Doris, Tumi, John, and Nestor with our families. We had fajitas that night which none of the Cameroonians had every had before. It was fun teaching them how to make them, fold them up, and eat them.

 We are also sampling Cameroonian food. We have started eating at least one Cameroonian meal per week. This is fufu and njama-njama and pineapple. The njama-njama is similar to a cooked collard green. The fufu is a ground meal that makes the staple of the Cameroonian diet. It was pretty tasty, but we are not ready to give up American food yet.

For those of you who have contributed to us financially we wanted to let you know where some of your money will be going. One immediate need at the hospital that we found was a lack of reliable blood chemistries. This means the ability to check sodium, potassium, creatinine, and a lot of other electrolytes. For the non-medical folks, these tests are integral in being able to diagnose and monitor the progress of our patients. The hospital's current machine (here in the picture with Joseph) is only intermittently working and sometimes is not accurate and the reagents are expensive and difficult to obtain.  We will be donating to buy the new machine (which does over 30 tests) that will be able to service the hospital's lab needs for years to come and the reagents can be purchased cheaply here in Cameroon.  If you would like to contribute to this project, please look to the side of our blog for ways to give to our Samaritan's Purse project fund.  We look forward to sharing stories of the impact the new machine will make here at Mbingo.  Thank you all for the gifts that you have already given and the gifts you will give in the future. 


  1. Those are PRECIOUS pictures of Isaac with the kids. Be sure to hang onto those. Some of my favorite ones from growing up are with the local kids. Love the food too! Thanks for all you share on your blog. I love reading them!

  2. Those pictures of Isaac are priceless. What a great experience for him and for you!