Yes, I know, about time we made ourselves heard. Well, this message is to let you readers know that Jaap and Joke have planned their next trip to Bamenda in Cameroon.
The flight tickets have arrived, the permits arranged and the shots had...... in about 4 weeks time they will be traveling with a small group of people to visit, asses, enjoy the company of- those who need their help to improve their life's situation.
This is especially important for the children- so they will be able to establish for themselves and those around them a better future.
Children too have dreams- as do their carers. A good education, health care and housing. The children are prepared to work hard to achieve their goals. And we, we are there to help, to encourage and for some - to finance this dream.
Keep an eye on this space for more updates as the date of the departure nears and the trip evolves.
We in our western society know the concept - shopping mall and it conjures up a picture in our minds when we talk or think 'shopping'.
Certainly here in the Netherlands we are comfortable with and used to the weekly market for fresh food as well as clothing and other needs. For some a weekly habit, others a lifestyle and others a curiosity. But definitely a part of our heritage.
In the village where Jaap en Joke Bloeme spread their support and good works - life looks somewhat different though yet the same.
For many a visitor to this area there are sights that amuse, surprise and show the difference - it certainly can leave lasting impressions.
Saturday 30th October 2013. What a week it has been. The days have flown by. It is Saturday morning and we first call in to the Prescafé where we had a wee chat with headmaster Henry. After we drained our coffee cups we went off to market. Always an experience worth having. Colour, spices, noise, meat, fish, people. Oh such a sight to behold.
Saturdays holds an extra attraction- the Hairdresser. No one on one treatment. The women are lined up in a row and cut and braided collectively. Quite an amazing sight.
Sunday, a day of rest of prayer and R & R. A small group of us went to the church service, we turned up a wee bit on the late side so only managed to attend part of the service- still we were there.
We hadn't planned a gathering- everyone was free to do their own thing. In the afternoon Jaap and I went for some refreshments to the Veteran Café. The beer was cold and thirst quenching.
Our evening meal was provided by sister Rose, Just our venture there was an experience I wouldn't have wanted to miss. what an expedition. I was glad we finally arrived in tact. What made it al worth while was the food- the most delicious fish meal EVER in all of Bamenda. We traveled back via a better route-thank goodness!
Today we want to spend some time with the women in Ndop. These women have collectively hired about 5 hectare of fertile fields where the aim to cultivate beans and corn. Once they are more settled in what they do, they want to expand their range.
The group we met consisted of approx 25 women. A few of these women had leadership tasks one of whom almost finished her agricultural diploma.
Generally the yield is used for own consumption, the rest is sold to supplement incomes and buy new seeds. A win win situation.
We thoroughly enjoyed meeting these keen and dedicated women. Once again we were impressed with their perseverance, commitment and fortitude.
Later that afternoon we made our third school visit and not unexpectedly we again enjoyed the visit immensely. One of the children hogged my lap and others crowded around Jaap en Hans receiving lots of attention.
All in all another satisfying and thought provoking day!