Today marks one month before I leave Switzerland for Cameroon. Seems like a perfect time to start a blog. I’ll be working on summarizing my time here as well as keeping you updated.
June 24th, I’m moving to Yaoundé, Cameroon in West Africa. I still need to:
- Get my Cameroonian visa
- Procure malaria meds
- Continue classes till June 18
- Take my DELF B2 Exam (June 18-19)
- Pack and Say Goodbye
In preparation for Africa, I have spent just over a year in French study in Neuchâtel at Inlingua. And now…it’s time for a look back before moving on.
I have been living in Corcelles, in the Canton (state) of Neuchâtel with the family of Heini and Nicole Bühler. Their sons Axel and Andreas live here, as well as Samuel, another lodger. So, there’s been plenty of people around the house to practice my French with. They’re a wonderful Christian family, and well respected in the church and community.
They have been infinitely welcoming, and I have learned lots from each of them. They have accepted me as their own, and this host family will become some of my lifelong friends.
I’ve seen a lot of amazing sights this year, and I have compiled a virtual tour for you of some of the coolest Swiss/French places that I’ve been or seen. It’s by no means complete…but will give you an idea of how the country looks.For those of you that are a little tech-savvy and have Google Earth….you can follow the tour here.
After opening the file (and agreeing to the security concerns), click the play button in Google Earth indicated in the image to the right ->.
If you do not have Google Earth, You can view a version that’s not quite as cool here.
I’ve been studying with a small group of Missionaries here. 3 were already studying when I arrived.
The rest of the group arrived one by one:
Mandi went to Cameroon in January. Elaine flew over in May. Rachel and I will leave in June, and Maralee will arrive in July. The rest will be going to their respective countries in the fall or later.
After that list, you have probably noticed that I’m the only missionary guy studying in Neuchatel. In fact, this is pretty representative of the mission community. The married couples are, obviously, equally male and female, but the singles are generally female. Why is it that there are fewer men in missions? Are women more likely to accept God’s calling into missions? Do they have more of a heart for others? Maybe one factor is that in many denominations women cannot serve as pastors but I don’t know the answer to that question. In any case…the problem seems to be on our side. Why aren’t there more men out here working along side these wonderful women of God?
Recently before going on a group hike after church, one of the men from the church sat me down and brought this up. He focused on me for a time and told me he was encouraged to see that “I will go” when the numbers are so skewed. This little exchange meant a lot to me. Frankly, it’s a pleasure…though I could do with some more male friends here. It’s too bad John Gieske was led to study in Paris and go to Senegal cuz we make great friends (But at least we got to both visit each other’s cities).