This morning we went to another church about a half hour walk from here. We were invited to attend because Martha (our team's cook) and her niece Courage attend this church. Once again we had to stand up and be greeted - we are getting pretty good at that. Church "officially" starts at 9am but we didn't even leave our house until 915am. I'm really thankful we have printed bulletins back home. For over an hour the service was announcements. During the announcements they announced how good it was that the missionaries sat in the grand stand during the National Youth Day event. To be honest, we avoided sitting in the grand stand because we didn't want to get stuck in there for hours. The grand stand was full of "important" people and the only thing that makes us "important" is that we stand out because we are white. We had 4 different people come up to us and ask us to sit in the grand stand - we told them we wanted to be able to take pictures and they did not force it. Finally when the parade was over and the performances were about to begin a man escorted Andrea and I through the crowd to the grand stand. Drew and the kids thought it was over so they went back to our house. So in church this morning, when they announced how good it was that we sat in the grand stand, I realized we came very close to insulting these dear Cameroonian people. Live and learn. Next month there is another big event, similar to the National Youth Day, called Women's Day. The women march and all wear matching dresses, there are speeches and performances. After church, all the visitors were invited for a lunch (we tried to leave but they pursued us). There were 3 women at the lunch who I recognized from the grand stand the day before, so I went over and introduced myself. The one woman had a strong resemblance to Oprah W. from the side so I asked if she knew of her. She didn't at first but then knew who I was talking about and said "thank you, that must mean I am beautiful". Actually, she was very beautiful and held herself with confidence, like she is someone important. Somehow in our conversation, they asked me to speak at the women's day event on my experiences keeping a home and caring for my family. I tried telling them that in my country it is much easier, I don't have to carry water on my head or have a permanently curved spine from working so hard in my field. Life in America is easy compared to the hard life African woman have. They insisted that what I have to share would be worthwhile. I told them I would pray about it because I have nothing on my own to say, but if God gives me something to share I will do it. They took that as a Yes, because God is faithful and will give me the words to say. So once again, I can use prayer... help me, I'm not sure how to get out of this.
PS> On a lighter note: I went to use the potty behind the church and it was an outhouse with a small (4inch across) hole in the floor...I'm sure they could tell which stall the American woman went in because it's really hard to aim... Just saying.