Monday, March 19, 2007

Cameroonian for 23 Days and Counting ...

French Word of the Day: jeune (pronounced a little like “shun”); as a noun, it means a “young person,” and as an adjective, it means “young, youthful or new.” In Cameroon, the category of “young people” stretches to include those from the age of 12 all the way up to the age of 30!

Face of the Day: Collins Etchi, member at John Wesley UMC and member of HIV/AIDS and Malaria Team: Collins has been involved with many different activities of the Mission. He sings in the choir at John Wesley UMC, is a member of the HIV/AIDS and Malaria Prevention Team, worked as a counselor and translator at both of our youth camps, as well as a number of other odd jobs.

Cameroon Fact of the Day: My oldest daughter, Rachel, recently had to interview someone about Cameroonian wedding practices. She spoke with Collins (pictured above) about practices in the Southwest Province. This is from her final report: “When a man finds a girl or woman he wants to marry in his compound, the man will go with the men in his family, including the eldest in the clan, to the home of the woman. They knock on the door and the oldest man, also called, ‘munsinsi,’ says, ‘We have seen a hen in our compound. We have come to see what we can do to take the hen with us.’ It is like a game in this culture. The bride’s family can try to be difficult and say, ‘Which hen?’ All the women of the compound are called to the front door. When the woman is properly chosen, the bargaining begins. The dowry is presented in kola nuts. For example, if the kola nut is split into 7 pieces, each piece is worth a certain amount. It is given to the most elderly person in the bride’s family. When everything is settled there, there is lots of celebrating and drinking. Then the date is set for the groom to come bring the bride to live with him and start his family. He comes to pick up the woman bearing gifts of pagnes (cloth material), pots, plates or whatever the price was.”

Mission Challenge of the Day: Visit the official home page of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, our mission board. Read some of the front page articles, surf around the various ministries, discover some other missionaries!