Chris’ Travel Diary

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Chris’ Friday Travel Diary: FRIED CATERPILLARS AND A CHANCE MEETING

Our flight to our next training conference in Zambia took us by way of a layover in Lusaka the capital where we boarded a double-propeller plane. It was quite an experience as I was seated in row 1 right behind the cockpit. When I say right behind the cockpit, I mean I could reach out and touch the co-pilot. Because the cockpit’s door was open, I could see everything the co-pilot was doing and most of the instrumentation on the dashboard. It was especially fascinating to watch the process of taking off and landing. Perhaps in another life I could have been a pilot.

Chris’ Tuesday Travel Diary: A NEW DAY IN ZAMBIA

Our flight to our next training conference in Zambia took us by way of a layover in Lusaka the capital where we boarded a double-propeller plane. It was quite an experience as I was seated in row 1 right behind the cockpit. When I say right behind the cockpit, I mean I could reach out and touch the co-pilot. Because the cockpit’s door was open, I could see everything the co-pilot was doing and most of the instrumentation on the dashboard. It was especially fascinating to watch the process of taking off and landing. Perhaps in another life I could have been a pilot.

Chris’ Friday Travel Diary: Neckties and Pizza and Other Good Stuff

Day three in Malawi and after waking up a little late I proceeded to the bathroom to engage in my daily morning battle with the sink faucet. Unfortunately, my sink has not seen fit to make brushing my teeth easy. Nevertheless, a very happy surprise was waiting for me when I turned on the shower: a stream of water that eventually became hot! If you have every traveled in the majority world, you know what a luxury a hot shower can be. This had all the markings of a red letter day.