What is a faun? Higher up and further in with an outreach twist. Writing.

Posts tagged “T.C.K. stuff

Back to some sharing from an old notebook when I was 16 years old and “expatriate teen in West Africa” was “who I was”.

Abut this picture: The bottom book is my baby book, kept by Mom until recently, and, the top “book”, a humble old green graph paper only “cahier” I remember Mom giving me, from her notebook stash, when I went to her and asked her if she had an old notebook that I could write in.IMG_4931

 

 

 

 

GROWING UP!

 

 

FROM MY EARLIEST JOURNALS, WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN:

June 20, 1973.  (I was home in Cameroun, from the Congo, on summer vacation)”Last night I told Mom all about S. (a boy I had a crush on, at school in the Congo) and it was an unexpected relief to get it all out to someone who would be able to view it from an objective viewpoint. What can I do except wait and pray?  – But that is about the hardest thing TO do. Somehow, God is going to work it out, the very best way. (this boy never did end up “liking me” at all, in the next couple years or at any time)

I never thought I’d REALLY miss TASOK for the three months of summer vacation, but I am. It is so great to have so many beautiful people (note, now, from myself – “beautiful people” is a phrase we kids at TASOK tended to use a lot, in the seventies !) , friends, around you all the time.

Anytime you want to, almost, you can go talk to somebody, or goof off and act like a spazz, or just go and be quiet and listen to music or something.

It has bothered me some that I didn’t want to come home worse than I did, and now that I am home I miss it at TASOK – it is like MPH (my boarding hostel) and TASOK (my school – The American School of Kinshasa) have become a real home to me.

But, that’s natural when you grow up – you always grow apart from “home”. You make your own life, and, when your(sic)going to a boarding school or something, often it’s COMPLETELY your own. In other words, you are what you make yourself when you’re at a place like TASOK with no brothers and sisters.

Then you come home, full of independence and pride in yourself, convinced that you’ve changed for the better an awful lot, that you’ll be pretty cool at home now. But when you’re home you suddenly realize you’re not so cool after all but regarded just the same by your parents pretty much and by your brothers and sisters and all the other people on the station and – your balloon deflates! You’re fighting with your sister and taking the head off your little brother and lazing around doing nothing and making no use of yourself at all!

Oh well, I guess that’s just part of coming home! “


End of 1973 trip from Congo to Cameroun

So, there we were in the Douala  airport restaurant, stretched out on the floor, dozing off.  I sat up, bleary-eyed, when a foreign-looking man, speaking English, approached us!  M., the 17-year-old of our threesome was with him – I think he’d been walking around the airport.  It was about ten thirty p.m.

The english-speaking man ushered us outside to a waiting vehicle; his wife, a smiling white face in the darkness, was there with him.  The vehicle had a.c. and was large and newish – it smelled good!  This couple were the Williams, an A.G. outreach family our parents had made a contact with on our behalf!

At their house, a night watchman let us in the gates and this friendly couple followed us in to the house – (more air conditioning!) – we felt revived more every second.  Mrs. Williams offered us food but we were too tired to eat. They gave medication to J. Mrs. Williams made me follow her upstairs and led me into a comfortable bedroom, showing me, down the narrow passageway, a gleaming pastel bathroom on the right. Straight ahead in the end wall of the hall, to the left of the shining bathroom she reached out and opened a louvre door, revealing a linen closet and telling me to help myself to towels.  I’d never seen anything like those towels – fluffy, bright, soft, new – American!  Stacked in pastel towers and smelling of fabric softener and sunshine.

The next day they gave us bacon and eggs for breakfast and took us back to the airport, where we flew to Yaounde and hugged our families; J. was home at that point and continued on malaria meds, recovering fully, later. M. and I together with our families had another three-hour car journey, from Yaounde to Ebolowa, but that felt like nothing after what we’d already been through and because we were with our siblings and parents!  Arriving home the following day we began long summer vacation in earnest!IMG_1314


Continuation of 1973 journal entry – the trip from Congo to Cameroun becomes more eventful yet!

IMG_1943June 10, 1973 by NinadeSusOjos

“We will get to Douala in about 30 minutes or less – already I can feel my ears popping as we lose altitude.  It seems incredible how fast and far we get to travel now.  Our worlds, which we get so tied up and involved in – are so trivial, so inconsequent – compared to what God must be.  And we limit Him in our lives so much, thereby missing out on peace and joy.  God is so huge and beautiful – I guess we can’t even imagine Him and that’s why it’s so hard to believe in Him for me.  I feel like I can never be really SURE of something I can’t see or feel; touch, I mean.  Yet, if I COULD, then He wouldn’t be God anymore.

About 3:15 p.m.  Douala, Cameroun airport.

Well.  Here we sit, the three of us, waiting, waiting, waiting.  For 8 p.m. to arrive.  I HATE this sitting.  If there was just something to do, it wouldn’t be half as bad!  There is nothing, so, I am writing this even though I don’t especially feel like it right now.

We went to find the Williams family, in downtown Douala, as our parents had suggested we do, to help while away the time of our waiting for our connecting flight tonight to Yaounde.  But the Williams were not home so we just came back to the airport.  We have been taking taxis.

Just now after a drop of sweat literally FELL off my forehead on to the notebook paper on which I’m writing this, puddling the ink from my pen, I glanced up and over to the next chipped and faded formica-topped restaurant table where the boys are sitting with cokes in front of them, and saw that J.’s face is fluorescent RED and streaming with far more sweat than mine is. Uh Oh.  What’s wrong?

His eyes catch mine.

I say, “What’s wrong, J.?”

Mumbling softly, and lowering his tow-headed long locks with that strong cow-lick in the middle-top of his forehead to table level, he closes his eyes and moans, “I’m SICK!  I’m going to DIE!” His heavy black glasses with the thick lenses tumble sideways on his face, then off, onto the faded and greasy dark red formica of the table.

Feeling a hard knot of fear start to clench in my stomach, I rise from my chair and walk a few steps over to him.  I hesitantly place my hand on his forehead -it feels as hot  as an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees for the past 60 minutes!  I look over to G., the eleventh grader.  “What do you think we should do?  He’s burning up with fever!”


End of 1973 trip from Congo to Cameroun

So, there we were in the Douala  airport restaurant, stretched out on the floor, dozing off.  I sat up, bleary-eyed, when a foreign-looking man, speaking English, approached us!  M., the 17-year-old of our threesome was with him – I think he’d been walking around the airport.  It was about ten thirty p.m.

The english-speaking man ushered us outside to a waiting vehicle; his wife, a smiling white face in the darkness, was there with him.  The vehicle had a.c. and was large and newish – it smelled good!  This couple were the Williams, an A.G. outreach family our parents had made a contact with on our behalf!

At their house, a night watchman let us in the gates and this friendly couple followed us in to the house – (more air conditioning!) – we felt revived more every second.  Mrs. Williams offered us food but we were too tired to eat. They gave medication to J. Mrs. Williams made me follow her upstairs and led me into a comfortable bedroom, showing me, down the narrow passageway, a gleaming pastel bathroom on the right. Straight ahead in the end wall of the hall, to the left of the shining bathroom she reached out and opened a louvre door, revealing a linen closet and telling me to help myself to towels.  I’d never seen anything like those towels – fluffy, bright, soft, new – American!  Stacked in pastel towers and smelling of fabric softener and sunshine.

The next day they gave us bacon and eggs for breakfast and took us back to the airport, where we flew to Yaounde and hugged our families; J. was home at that point and continued on malaria meds, recovering fully, later. M. and I together with our families had another three-hour car journey, from Yaounde to Ebolowa, but that felt like nothing after what we’d already been through and because we were with our siblings and parents!  Arriving home the following day we began long summer vacation in earnest!IMG_1314


Continuation of 1973 journal entry – the trip from Congo to Cameroun becomes almost unbelievably hairy!

IMG_1943June 10, 1973 by NinadeSusOjos

“We will get to Douala in about 30 minutes or less – already I can feel my ears popping as we lose altitude.  It seems incredible how fast and far we get to travel now.  Our worlds, which we get so tied up and involved in – are so trivial, so inconsequent – compared to what God must be.  And we limit Him in our lives so much, thereby missing out on peace and joy.  God is so huge and beautiful – I guess we can’t even imagine Him and that’s why it’s so hard to believe in Him for me.  I feel like I can never be really SURE of something I can’t see or feel; touch, I mean.  Yet, if I COULD, then He wouldn’t be God anymore.

About 3:15 p.m.  Douala, Cameroun airport.

Well.  Here we sit, the three of us, waiting, waiting, waiting.  For 8 p.m. to arrive.  I HATE this sitting.  If there was just something to do, it wouldn’t be half as bad!  There is nothing, so, I am writing this even though I don’t especially feel like it right now.

We went to find the Williams family, in downtown Douala, as our parents had suggested we do, to help while away the time of our waiting for our connecting flight tonight to Yaounde.  But the Williams were not home so we just came back to the airport.  We have been taking taxis.

Just now after a drop of sweat literally FELL off my forehead on to the notebook paper on which I’m writing this, puddling the ink from my pen, I glanced up and over to the next chipped and faded formica-topped restaurant table where the boys are sitting with cokes in front of them, and saw that J.’s face is fluorescent RED and streaming with far more sweat than mine is. Uh Oh.  What’s wrong?

His eyes catch mine.

I say, “What’s wrong, J.?”

Mumbling softly, and lowering his tow-headed long locks with that strong cow-lick in the middle-top of his forehead to table level, he closes his eyes and moans, “I’m SICK!  I’m going to DIE!” His heavy black glasses with the thick lenses tumble sideways on his face, then off, onto the faded and greasy dark red formica of the table.

Feeling a hard knot of fear start to clench in my stomach, I rise from my chair and walk a few steps over to him.  I hesitantly place my hand on his forehead -it feels as hot  as an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees for the past 60 minutes!  I look over to G., the eleventh grader.  “What do you think we should do?  He’s burning up with fever!”


June 10, 8:30 A.M. In a D.C. 3 jet waiting for it to take off.

This is it – I’m actually in the plane to fly back home to Cameroun for the summer.  It seems so unreal – I guess I’ve been living my life here – NO!  There! – at Kinshasa and TASOK for so long that home and everything in Cameroun just feels like a far-away dream right now!  I love TASOK and the people there so much, and I guess I’ve come to consider it as “home” too yet I also love Cameroun and my family and consider them as “home” too!  I guess everybody who goes to boarding school must feel that way…IMG_1314