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Please visit my new blog:  Https:// to continue reading about my journeys and viewing my thoughts and reflections on current issues.  Please comment and share your thoughts and impressions!

Published in: on February 19, 2011 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 29 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 43 posts. There were 45 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 54mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 18th with 47 views. The most popular post that day was May 18.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for baka tribe, the baka tribe, hen,, and mongolu.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


May 18 May 2010


Leaving Cameroon October 2009


from Yaounde May 2010


May 23 May 2010


May 25 May 2010

Published in: on January 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

June 13

Happy Birthday!

Julie was invited to the reception honoring Queen Elizabeth’s birthday – and took me as her guest!  It was held at the residence of the British High Commissioner in Yaounde.  Quite a nice lawn party with just about any drink you could want.  Waiters, waitresses, and the Commissioner’s daughters walked around with an assortment of hors d’oevres.  There was at least a hint of curry in everything! (The High Commissioner is of Indian descent.)   We both enjoyed the evening — met a few people I knew from my last visit here, and made the acquaintance of some new ones.

The World Cup is well underway now.  Since it’s in South Africa,  the matches are at convenient viewing  times for us.  Julie and I watched the England/USA match last night with a great American meal of pizza, french fries, and wine! We enjoyed a bit of friendly rivalry and cheered for the other’s team when they played well!
Cameroon is reputed to be the strongest of the African teams.  They play their first match Monday, the 14th.    Wouldn’t it be great if a country in which Holy Union ministers wins???
Published in: on June 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm  Comments (2)  

World Cup Fever

   It’s been rather uneventful for the past week — but now World Cup Fever is breaking out!  The Indomitable Lions (the Cameroonian Team) are a definite contender for the World Cup.   Today they played an exhibition game in Yaounde.  Julie and I watched it on TV for a while (no way were we going near the stadium). The broadcast was in French, so I left Julie to watch the second half on her own.   It was the Cameroonian team against the People. They played gently so as not to risk injuries.  Tomorrow the Lions head for South Africa – and competition begins this weekend.  I think the United States’ first game is against England.  As long as Cameroon and the United States aren’t playing each other – I’m for both!!!

Otherwise – I’ve been busy researching and learning more about the projects and needs for Cameroon.  Nothing very exciting – but very necessary!

No sensible man burns the house to cook a little yam.

(African wisdom)


Published in: on June 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

May 31

Sisters Micheline & Pascaline preparing one of the leafy vegetablesLast Friday, after returning from Ndop, I met a young English woman, Julia.  She had spent the last 5 weeks in Massea (where Fran was last year) – getting some hands-on experience of Africa and the Baka people.  Julia and I have had a great time comparing stories and sharing photos over the weekend.  One could say that  I’ve been hanging around with Julie & Julia!!

The photo shows the scene in the dining/living room of the Yaounde house Saturday night.  Piles of leafy vegetables on stalks were all over.  S. Micheline is pulling the leaves from the stalks, and S. Pascaline is chopping the bunches of leaves.  There were more helping – but it wasn’t possible to get everyone into the picture.

Of course, I wondered how this vegetable would appear again.  Sunday it was served with chopped carrots.  Not sure how it was prepared – but it was quite good.  Today it became jama-jama — which is eaten with fu-fu.  That’s very typically Cameroonian. 

The Lord will bless someone today …

It could be me

It could be you

It could be someone by your side

The Lord will bless someone today.

(African song)

Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 4:59 pm  Comments (2)  

A Day of Adventure!

Sr. Genevieve & The Ambassador

May 27 was quite an eventful day for me!  It  began with about an hour’s ride  from Ndop to Bamenda.  A celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Liliane Foundation, and 20 years of its service to special needs children in Cameroon, was being held at the Congress Hall in Bamenda.  Sister Genevieve Yano, SUSC coordinated the event.  

The Liliane Foundation is based in the Netherlands.  It was begun by Mrs. Liliane Brekelman who was herself disabled due to childhood polio.  The fund assists in providing services to children with special needs in 3rd world countries.  Geni has been the coordinator of Liliane Foundation services in Cameroon for the past 6 years. 

Mrs. Saskia Bakker, Dutch Ambassador to Cameroon, attended.  Children from several of the schools and programs assisted by the Liliane Foundation performed.  Mediators who recently completed their training given by facilitators from the Liliane Foundation were awarded their certificates!  The celebration ended with a traditional “buffet” of bread, chicken, beef, fried plantains, and beignets.  Delicious! 

Afterwards I took my first Cameroonian taxi ride!  Sr. Modest accompanied me (since this was an entirely new experience for me & I didn’t know where we were going).  We met Sr. Julie at a major  junction in Bamenda.  I was expecting a wilder ride than the reality.  For me, New York cabbies still have it!   Julie and I then set out for Yaounde. 

We made excellent travel time until we got rather near Yaounde.  Then, the rains began!!!  Torrential!  Coming into Yaounde, we encountered a HUGE  traffic jam!!!  It seems that it was caused by heavy traffic and the weather.  AND – we had called ahead to Pizza Roma to have nice cheese, ham, and mushroom pizzas waiting for us!  We did call the pizzeria and explain our predicament; and they promised to wait until 11pm for us.  It was about 8:20pm when we got into the traffic jam. 

A bit after 10pm, we arrived at Pizza Roma; and, sure enough, we got our pizzas.  The “individual” pizza was at least a 10 incher.  Pizza for dinner tonight.  It is good – almost as good as Rome! 

I suppose it isn’t necessary to say that we slept quite well last night!  Today – setting back in Yaounde.

Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm  Comments (1)  

May 25

Can you find all 7 chicks?

Yesterday afternoon, a couple hens and their chicks decided to take a stroll on the lawn around St. Irene’s – the small house in which I’m staying in Ndop.  There was this one and a light colored speckled hen with 5 chicks.  Of course, I had to take some photos! 

Pentecost Sunday was a big celebration here – and not just liturgically.  The greeting Sunday morning was “Happy Feast!”; rather than “Good morning!   A young Capuchin who is a friend of Julie’s celebrated Mass for us in the convent chapel.  Julie, Fran, and I attended.  The others chose to go to the Parish Church.

Sunday afternoon, Julie, Fran and I relaxed with a nice dinner of steak, mashed potatoes, onions & mushrooms, and cheese cauliflower.  The meal was accompanied by a good wine and a movie, The Holiday.  The Cameroonian Sisters went to Bamenda (about an hour’s drive)  for a charismatic Mass, which they seemed to enjoy quite a bit.   So, it was a good holyday for all!

“… Know the world is waiting

for the goodness and the love you carry within you.”

– M. E. Miro



Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm  Comments (5)  

May 23

During my previous visit to Cameroon, we did a lot of traveling to all of Holy Union’s missions here.  This time I am staying in the areas where we are expanding and have projects on which I can work.  So, I am really able to experience more of the everyday life of our Sisters here.  It is sort of an immersion experience!  Joining the Community for meals and prayer on a daily basis is teaching me a lot about the culture, customs, and spirituality of Cameroon.
I’ve been reading some of the publications available here.  One magazine describes Cameroon as “Africa in miniature.”  It says that Cameroon has within its borders many of the environmental, geographical and climatic features of the rest of Africa – making it a microcosm of the continent.  Interesting!
May the gifts of the Spirit be yours in abundance!
Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 9:15 am  Comments (4)  

May 21

Preparing the fire!

 Wednesday evening, Geni (kneeling) built a small fire under the mango tree to roast corn.  African corn is a bit different from ours.  It’s not as sweet and is roasted rather than boiled or grilled.  The  fire was built and then the corn roasted around the edges of the fire – not placed directly onto it.  It is eaten right after roasting while still warm.  A new taste experience – and good! 

Of course, Fran and I had to be part of this event!  So we were out there with Geni and the young sisters enjoying the corn as it came from the fire.  AND – we introduced an American tradition!  Toasted marshmallows!   We reminised about our younger days and camping with our families and the Girl Scouts – and taught the Cameroonians the techniques for toasted marshmallows that are done just enough and not burnt.  Supper that evening was roasted corn, fried plantains (cooked inside) and toasted marshmallows!  Yummy! 

Yesterday was a National Holiday here.  It was part of the celebration of the unification of Cameroon. From Wikipedia:    National Day is a holiday in Cameroon celebarated on 20 May. Cameroon has no single date of independence. The United Nations Trust Territory known as French Cameroun achieved independence from France on 1 January 1960, and British Southern Cameroons changed status from a Trusteeship under British administration to a federated state within Cameroon on 1 October 1961. The government chose 20 May as Cameroon’s National Day to commemorate President Ahmadou Ahidjo‘s abolishment of the federal system of government and creation of a unitary state in 1972. 

    In Yaounde, there were parades and much celebration.  Many Heads of State attended. Some of the musicians performing were on my flight coming into Yaounde last week. 

 Of course, a special fabric design was created for the occasion.  All in the parade wore the same design – but the men wore brown, the women blue, and the youth purple.  We watched the festivities on TV off and on during the day – being very glad we were in Ndop and not in Yaounde! 

Please leave comments!  I love to read them! 

Today’s wisdom: 

God’s timing is best.

Published in: on May 21, 2010 at 8:19 am  Comments (2)  

May 19

Blessing and cutting of the cake

Last night, the birthday celebration continued – and what a celebration it was!  I learned a bit about Cameroonian birthday customs – especially around the gift giving and the cake!

We began the evening with prayer (which I had been asked to prepare) about 4:15 or so.  Afterwards, a wonderful festive meal was served.  It included roasted fish, pork, salads (rice and tomato; avocado, tomato and onion), mashed potatoes, beef kabobs, plaintains and bananas.  Wine, water, and non-alcoholic Guinness were the beverages.   Everything was freshly prepared and very delicious. 

Then – the gift giving and presentation of the cake!  Everything was “danced in.”  The young Cameroonians brought in the cakes (there were 3) and each gift individually – procession dance style.  I was asked to dance in the bag of gifts I had brought from home.

The cake is blessed, and the birthday person cuts the first slice.  A member of the local community and I were asked to assist.  See photo.  It is very much like the cutting of the wedding cake at our ceremonies.

After all of this – the dance floor was open!  Some enjoyed watching and others enjoyed dancing to the African rhythms.  Fran and I also taught the young Cameroonians some of the dances of our youth!  They had quite a good time learning to Twist and Hokey Pokey!  We also demonstrated YMCA!

A great time was had by all — and I think we all slept quite well last night!

A traditional prayer from West Africa –

O Might Force, that force which is in everything,

Come down between us, fill us until we become like you.  Amen.

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm  Comments (1)