Sun 12 May 2013
Saturday morning marked the launch of the first mobile phone pastor training in Cameroon. About 20 people came for an orientation session and, if ready, to purchase their “PTL smartphone.” (PTL = Pastors Training in Leadership). Ernest, the technical coordinator for this program in Francophone Africa, set up this launch in his home city, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Zarc, my coworker from Nairobi who is the overall tech coordinator for this project, and I traveled there to help Ernest get things going and to see how things are working on-site.
Getting phones and memory chips here was a non-trivial task that took many months. The phones are almost too expensive already without import tariffs, so our African leadership has chosen to avoid adding on any other costs and hand-carry batches of phones to the various countries. Keeping these two critical ingredients (phones and memory chips) in sufficient supply will be a challenge here.
Cameroon is a bilingual country (French and English), but I think Zarc and I were the only two other English speakers in the country besides our “Campus Pour Christ” coworkers. My bad high school French confused just as many people as it worked on. And half the time my fading Hungarian would come out, and I couldn’t remember if the word I just said was actually Hungarian or French. This didn’t earn me any smiles.
It is good to be heading home!
Cathy begins chemo treatments soon, and I am traveling on Mother’s Day today. So this trip was expensive in more ways than one. Cathy assured me the trip would be OK, and her sister came down for a visit while I was gone. But I will be happy to be home.