Posted in Africa Christian Missions Culture Shock

3 Reasons Not to Dress Up for Church, and Why I Still Do

It is interesting the things you notice when you jump into a different culture. We live in a small village next to a small town. On most days people are dressed in tattered clothing that is filthy from the field. Diapers are uncommon, so most toddlers just wander around without pants. The majority of houses in our village have dirt floors, and even with our cement floor it is impossible to keep our kids clean. But Sunday, that is a different story. On Sunday families wear matching outfits, clothes bleached to an incomprehensible white (seriously, I have no idea how…

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Posted in Africa Culture Shock Language Learning

Thigh, Breast or Door? The Joys of Learning a Tonal Language

by Stacey Hey, can you go close the thigh? Oh, I mean the…breast? Nope…the door…that’s it…the door!How could we get these words so mixed up? Let us just tell you that they have the exact same consonants and vowels. And if they have the exact same consonants and vowels then they are the same word that has several different meanings…right? Wrong. We have now officially entered into the realm of tonal languages where meaning is differentiated not just by different vowels and consonants but also by the pitch of one’s voice. So (we think) “door” is said with a higher…

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Posted in Adoption Africa Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations The Hare Home

When People Say Stupid Things: An Alternative Response

by Dave Do you ever get asked stupid questions? Try this one on for size: on a market trip the other day the meat vendor saw Stacey, Elias and myself and asked, “Hey, where is your black woman?” Polygamy is not rare here and he assumed I had another wife, or at least another woman on the side. This type of question is the norm as we walk around here, not the exception. Adoption outside of the extended family is rare in Cameroon, multiple women/wives is common, and seeing us with black kids leads them to certain cultural assumptions. But…

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations God’s Work in Cameroon

There is so Little Grace Here

by Stacey  Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. – Psalm 12:1  Streets Filled with Violence I was studying one day when I  heard a young woman screaming in the street, “No mama, no mama.” I went outside to see what was going on and Dave told me that our neighbor was violently whipping her daughter with an electrical cable, even in the face, while her older brother was pinning her down. Dave told the mother that she needed to stop and with much frustration, she eventually relented….

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Posted in Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations

(Slowly) Learning What it Means to “Please Everyone”

By Stacey I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. –1 Corinthians 10:33  I have read this verse of Paul over and over again since our arrival in Cameroon and have asked myself the question, “What does it mean to try to please everybody in this cultural context?” I think I am slowly learning what this means, and it’s totally different than what I expected. I thought that pleasing everyone meant that I would live exactly like they do, but what I am discovering is…

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Posted in Culture Shock Current Events The Hare Home

Life in our New Village

  by Stacey Well it has been almost a month since we moved into our new house and we gradually moving from the “survival / getting set-up” mode to the “language / culture acquisition” mode. I must say that we are ever so happy to see the “just trying to make it” phase fade off into the background and are thrilled to begin to spend our days in concentrated study. So how is it? Thankful Overall, I would say that we are just really thankful. We are thankful to have a home that is not a source of frustration and…

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Posted in Christian Missions Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations

When I Am Not Moved (a Poem)

by Dave We had an excellent opportunity to go to a city called Bamenda last week and have a short retreat. We had an American pastor, and for the first time in almost 2 years, we experienced corporate worship in English. And an amazing thing happened. I felt nothing! I knew that this should have been a great relief and joy, both emotions I saw on the faces of those other missionaries around me. But I just felt cold and unmoved. I spent the week reflecting on what to do, and did find myself worshipping in the end. And I…

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Posted in Africa Culture Shock

The Wild and the Weird

by DaveWe thought it was high time for a blog demonstrating the crazy things we encounter here in Cameroon. Hope you enjoy! Because we are staying in the forest, we often get hunters coming through our camp. This guy was quite proud of his most recent hunt where he bagged two blue faced monkeys. On a side note, I have not slept since taking this photo.  I am not really sure what they were getting at, but this is not what I want to see on my laundry detergent.  You may have already seen on Facebook, but we had our…

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Posted in Culture Shock Current Events The Hare Home

House Construction and the Kids in School

By Stacey This past week has been both exhausting and exciting. About a week and a half ago, Dave and I realized that the construction of our house was moving way too slowly and that we needed to be on site to supervise the progress. Thus we moved into the bush to a little camp that is about 15 minutes away from our soon-to-be house. Although we miss living with our Cameroonian roommates, we think this has been a good move. For starters, we are living in a more isolated location and thus do not have people around our house…

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Posted in Culture Shock Poverty

Being a “Have” in a “Have-Not” World

One night we ran out of food and therefore Kaden was not able to have his typical forth helping. He looked up at me with horror in his eyes and asked in a trembling, hushed voice, “Mom, are we…poor?”  Maybe you have had a similar experience in your home where your child comes home from school, buries his head in the sofa and cries because his family too “poor” to buy him the $100 shoes that all the other kids are wearing.  Living like Kings If you are like us, you remind your kids that compared to the majority of…

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