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I.T.E.M. Stories & Updates BLOG

Chris’ Travel Diary: THE DOOR OF NO RETURN

Dotted along the gold coast of Ghana are a series of glistening 16th century slave castles, magnificent in beauty and nefarious in purpose. Inside these haunted walls, an unspeakable terror occurred. African slaves captured and sold to the European colonizers were herded into prison cells awaiting their passage to the New World where they would be divorced from their families and culture, given new names, and spend the rest of their days in miserable servitude in a foreign land without any hope of freedom. The door through which these condemned slaves passed to board ships to the New World came to be known as “The Door of No Return.”

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Chris’ Travel Diary: MY FAVORITE NAME IS HELEN

It has been quite an eventful couple of days since my last post. On Saturday morning we departed from Bafoussam before sunrise for Yaoundé. About two hours into the trip, just as the sun had risen–its golden rays accentuating the glory of the rolling verdant countryside and dazzling my eyes–it happened again. Our vehicle broke down! Unfortunately, this time we were in the middle of nowhere, the closest town located about thirty minutes away. If I were superstitious, I might be tempted to believe I have a curse attached to me since this keeps happening.

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Chris’ Travel Diary: A PRAYER FOR CAMEROON

It was an interesting night to say the least. Beside my hotel is a huge bus station. In front of the hotel is a taxi stand along with several food vendors. Then there is a DJ who brings his van and parks in the bus lot and blasts music pretty much all night. Though to his credit, he is quite an animated DJ. It’s hard to describe the perfect storm of traffic and noise that converge at this hotel. Perhaps the most annoying thing is the unrelenting fury of horns blaring from vehicles because the entrances are blocked with taxis and boda-bodas.

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Chris’ Travel Diary: PREACH THE WORD AND DON’T PASS THE FUFU

It was an interesting night to say the least. Beside my hotel is a huge bus station. In front of the hotel is a taxi stand along with several food vendors. Then there is a DJ who brings his van and parks in the bus lot and blasts music pretty much all night. Though to his credit, he is quite an animated DJ. It’s hard to describe the perfect storm of traffic and noise that converge at this hotel. Perhaps the most annoying thing is the unrelenting fury of horns blaring from vehicles because the entrances are blocked with taxis and boda-bodas.

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Chris’ Travel Diary: THE ROAD TO BAFOUSSAM

I have a difficult time sleeping in a hot room. I mentioned in my previous post that the air conditioning wasn’t working, and the room was stifling hot when I arrived. Fortunately, it is the rainy season in Cameroon which means cooler temperatures. So, I slept with the windows open and got enough air circulation to sleep decently. Having awakened around 6:30am I endured a cold shower (or more like a rinse bath) and repacked my suitcases for our trip to Bafoussam. Then it was down to the hotel restaurant to meet my host Joseph Ngwani for breakfast. 

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Chris’ Travel Diary: A TEST OF ENDURANCE

Remember the days when air travel was glamorous? Those days are long gone. Air travel has become an endurance test. I departed from Richmond Sunday around 5:00pm enroute to Yaounde, Cameroon, an itinerary involving three flights and over twenty-four hours in planes and airports. In Cameroon, I will be meeting with our ITEM lead team as well as serving as the keynote speaker for the Cameroon National Baptist Minister’s Convention in Bafoussom.

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Travel Diary 12: A Big Thank You

I will conclude this set of travel diaries with a big thank you, first to the Lord, secondly to you. My departure from Liberia was scheduled for 6:40pm on Thursday. I had a scheduled transit through Ghana to connect with the larger international carrier, KLM, up to Amsterdam then Portland.

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Travel Diary 11: PRAY!

Hi Everyone,

Before getting to the report about today and what I learned when meeting with the Liberian team, I have a serious prayer request so I am putting it on this side of the READ MORE link. Here is the situation. I am scheduled to leave Liberia at 6:40pm and fly to Ghana. I am scheduled to arrive in Ghana at 8:30pm and catch a flight my flight to Amsterdam at 10:10pm.

THE INBOUND FLIGHT INTO LIBERIA HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY LATE THE LAST FOUR TIMES INCLUDING MY FLIGHT MONDAY. IF IT IS THE SAME TOMORROW, THURSDAY, I WILL PROBABLY MISS MY FLIGHT TO AMSTERDAM. I SEEM TO BE AT THE MERCY OF KENYA AIRWAYS. PRAY THAT THEY WILL BE CLOSE TO ON TIME FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE ABOUT JULY 16.

It was an informative time with the Liberian team today. As much as I’ve learned about African Traditional Religions in the past 24 years, I learned more today.

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Travel Diary 9 & 10: Third World Challenges

Hi Everyone,

This is a Monday-Tuesday report and I have to admit that it is hard right now to stay objective and unemotional. It has been a hard two days compared to the rest of this trip and most recent trips. There has been some positive and that needs to be the emphasis but it’s difficult to see through the good through the cloud of challenges.

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