Saturday, July 04, 2009

To Cameroon, Africa and back

Here we are, on the trip that has taken me almost 40 years to get to do. Since I was 16, I have wanted to go to Africa-only to see the hopes get crushed a few times. The day we were to leave--June 18th, we got to the airport and found out that we still may not get to go as our plane was delayed by 2 hours and that would throw off the whole flights to Yaounde. The next flight there would not be able to be done till the following Tuesday, which would be one half way through the Health, Hygiene and Sanitation seminar we were doing with Carol and Mike Nowlin from Thirst Relief International. I was crushed, hopes gone...and then Rick asked what it would take to go through Douola Africa--which was 120+ miles from Yaounde. They could do that--so off we went. Of course this changed all things for Peter-our host...and Carol and Mike were still flying into Yaounde. Needless to say, we finally all met up and had an incredible journey...full of wonder, stresses physically as the roads were in bad shape for much of our journey as we were often far from any cities. We traveled alot-got to see many things we have never seen before, met people who were just beautiful inside and out.

I traveled with Sarah's ashes--as she also always wanted to go--so took a small amount with some sand from our beach. Often I felt her presence...somehow laughing and delighted that her mom was there---on her first wedding anniversary with the most wonderful husband...and then also on her mom's 57th birthday---almost as a gift...a treasure...

Always I was looking to see where to leave her ashes, and near the end of our trip, after all the workshops were done and we ended up in Limbe on the coast, the other side of the Altantic---was this spot. A set of stairs that led to the beach, a beach made up of volcanic rock and black sand---from Mt. Cameroon---which had erupted in the 90s the last time and sent ash and lava to the ocean. It was here we found these stairs that looked so like Manorola. As we climbed down the difficult and steep stairs, I felt your strong presence...Sarah and my dear Heavenly Father...

we were so quiet...Carol and Mike joined us...we just waited for the perfect wave...and released the sand and part of you...just then, a beautiful white crane with a black neck, flew solo right past us the full length of the beach....and Rick and I looked at each other and smiled through tears.

Who knows whether this is true or we make it true, it blessed both of our hearts and touched Mike and Carol...who never knew you.

I miss you...I am glad to have had you for the years we had. Such memories my sweet girl. We carried both of your packs on our back too throughout this trip and felt close too.

We are now in a new time, a new season. Christopher and Tiffany are now married and are beginning their journey. It is a new land. We will live well, we will remember you and also Rick's wife, Shyrl. We are all blessed to be living~not small but full. Embracing each day, each other...with fullness and joy. You, who have gone on now---have taught us so much and we will embrace the memories, yet live fully present.

love sweet girl.


Dawn~^i^Brandon^i^, Jordan, and Seth's mom said...

What a lovely post, and a lovely gesture for your beautiful daughter. I am sure you make her so PROUD....that's what us momma's strive for after all, even when our prescious ones are awaiting us in Heaven.

Dawn ~ Delaware

karengberger said...

When I first saw you in the photo on those steps, I thought it WAS Manarola! What an amazing "parallel" place, and how beautiful of you to take some of Sarah's ashes there.
Thank you for sharing the journey here, and the gorgeous photographs. It seems to mark a new beginning for you...and Sarah will always be with you, each day of your life.
I will write an email when I am clearer-headed. Still a bit jet-lagged; are you? Blessings to you!

karengberger said...

Dear Chistine,
Would you like me to send you a photo of us with Paula? If so, can you send me your email? Mine is

May I ask you for prayers for my friend, whose only surviving son died suddenly today? Her younger son died of cancer about 10 years ago. I am shattered for her. If you have a prayer chain, would you please add her?
Thank you so much!