more thoughts on cameroon

  • Now that we have had over a month to research and come to peace with our placement I have a better outlook on our next two years.  We have talked with a lot of people who currently live there, who are going there and who have lived there before. All of them say how wonderful Yaounde is and what a great place it is for a small new family.  We’ve been reading the Lonely Planet West African book and many other books about Africa history and travel. All of them agree that Cameroon has all of Africa inside it’s boarders. There are pristine uncomercialized beaches, grasslands, a rainforest and an amazing mountain. They also agree that the people are very nice and welcoming.  All of this information and just the knowledge that we are being sent where the Lord wants us to go has eased most my concerns.
  • My husband and I find ourselves defending Cameroon and our choice to join State a lot lately. I can’t tell you how many people say, “You’re going where?” “Why would anyone (yes, “anyone,” a passive aggressive way of saying why would YOU) do that to their children?” “See, doesn’t the State Department suck to put you in a place like that?” My response is always something along the lines of, “We chose this life, not the State Department didn’t choose it for us.” “Cameroon is actually a really great country and Yaounde is, from what we’ve heard and read, a great place for young families.” “Our daughter and future children will know and understand the world and it’s peoples in a way that no other American child (a passive aggressive way of saying, “than your child.”) ever will. They will gain and have cultivated in them a compassion, thankfulness and understanding of different cultures because of the life we are giving them.” There are so many more comments people inundate us with but these are probably the best ones yet.  Why do people always feel the need to judge?
  • I’m looking forward to the adventure that is Africa. We are going on this adventure in the safest and easiest way, through Patrick’s job at State. It’s going to be great!
  • A word on visitors. We’d love them.
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7 responses to “more thoughts on cameroon

  1. Hello there. Not sure how I came across your blog actually, perhaps through another FS blog?? Anyway, I’ve been following yours for a few weeks now and wanted to say hello.

    Also, a few other spouses/officers are going to have dinner on Saturday for a mellow Girls Night Out. Are you interested in joining us? No one has really met anyone yet, but it should be fun. lmk and I can give you more details.

    I’m looking forward to reading all about your upcoming adventures!

    Sincerely,
    Alix

  2. I’ve been following your blog and your feelings about your new posting and I congratulate you on being open minded, for doing your research and for making your peace with going to Cameroon. Your positive attitude will give you and your family the best shot at success there. As someone who has moved frequently and has many friends who are expats, I empathise with the feeling of defending your choices and I laughed at your “passive aggressive” response 🙂 My children are older (11 and 8) and I can see that they look at the world in a different way than “normal” (what is that anyway?) children their age. I hope they will embrace their differences and take them into adult life where there is no doubt that their outlook will help them to make the world a more tolerant place.

    I wish you success in Cameroon – it sounds like you are going to make the most of the experience.

    Evelyn Simpson
    http://www.thesmartexpat.com

  3. Hi there,
    A friend forwarded me your blog. I’m a Canadian foreign service officer (well consular officer, actually, but also rotational) currently doing my language training. Francophone Africa is top of my list for postings, and we hope to be taking ours in September 2012, so I’m looking forward to following your blog as you go to Cameroon! Africa suffers from so many negative perceptions but I’ve also heard that Yaounde is a safe and lovely place.

  4. You are adorable & I love your response to people!

    I’m so excited to hear more about your adventure!!!

    We miss you guys!!!

    ps. Nick says “hello & I miss you guys!”

  5. We are on our first Africa post, and our 4th State Department post. You are very wise to know that each place will bring challenges, but the State Department life also brings great blessings. Our children are worldy and open minded. They are patriotic, but not elitist. I am so thrilled that we were able to give them the world to grow up in. Although we aren’t in Yaounde, it was a top choice for us in this past bidding season. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures and insights into life at your new post. All our best wishes!

  6. Hi! We are starting the process, he has only registered for the FSOT but we sit here daily talking about the pros and cons, the goods and bads, what we would tell our family and friends if, in fact, he made it through the end. As a former military family we are used to picking up and leaving every few years (which is why we have decided to try this path….after 8 years in the military and thinking we wanted to settle down, almost a year later we have learned we are nomads at heart).

    “Our daughter and future children will know and understand the world and it’s peoples in a way that no other American child (a passive aggressive way of saying, “than your child.”) ever will. They will gain and have cultivated in them a compassion, thankfulness and understanding of different cultures because of the life we are giving them.”

    This statement is how we feel and is a huge reason we are considering this life, but we know that our family (mine in particular) won’t understand. They are stuck in their ways, here in the life they have built they are not willing to be opened minded. They love us and our three boys fiercely and that makes it even harder. If, and it’s a big if, he makes it through the end we hope to have the words to sooth their souls, to help them see this as a wonderful thing(even with its dangers).

    Good luck in Cameroon 🙂

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