life at the mission

Sunday morning, to the sounds of rhythmic drumming and soulful singing, the day came to full life at the Baptist Mission.  Wish it would occur every morning – it is such a nice way to welcome the day.  We are residing here for the first week while we continue our “In Country Training” on the finest points of customs and culture, but also on nutrition, first aid, shopping, and even money management.  We are also getting introductory lessons in Fulfulde.

Djabbama – Welcome to Maroua

The easy part is nearly over.  By Monday, we’ll be turned loose on our local partners.

In terms of settling into life here, “mission life” is a wonderful transition. We even get to acclimate to sleeping in the heat by having single beds on the opposite sides of the room!  Makes it harder to steal the covers… but then again, there truly is no need for them!  We’re melting and it’s nowhere near the hot season yet.

The dining hall/kitchen has already become the central focus of our existence:  think, eat, learn, eat, and repeat.  Together with the other 3 volunteers who arrived with us, we have been whipping up some rather lovely meals – one even devoured heartily by candlelight when the power chose dinnertime as its rest period!

The main market (“loumo”) in Maroua is only a few minutes walk away and sprawls over several city blocks.  It’s a busy place, but unlike in Yaoundé, it doesn’t feel quite as intimidating.  There are lots of hidden corners and alleyways, so there will be lots to explore in the next couple of years.  We’ve already found a few “comfort foods”.

Everything else however still feels a little insulated – like it’ll be a different world when we step outside the mission’s gate.  When all we have learned becomes fully absorbed.  When theory becomes reality.  When it’s time, we’ll be unleashed out into this brave new place we’ll call “home”.


Note:  CUSO-VSO is not a religious organization, nor are the local partners we are working with.  The Baptist Mission simply offers affordable (and comfortable) short-term accommodations for volunteers while in Maroua – for which we are obviously very appreciative.

~ by Caroline Spira on November 13, 2009.

2 Responses to “life at the mission”

  1. Bonjour ma soeur! J’aime lire tes histoires. Bonne soirée!

  2. Humm…Lundi est une merveilleuse journée pour commencer votre aventure (professionnellement, il va sans dire!). En effet, selon mon expérience personnelle, le 16 novembre (naissance de Léanne) est une date parfaite pour débuter une nouvelle aventure!!
    Bonne journée à vous deux!!

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