My return to Cameroon after eleven years away was like my first arrival: squinting at the inky darkness from the hotel minibus. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Yaoundé was a place of transit, errands (mail and banking), and occasionally of refuge (usually at an Embassy or Peace Corps house). It wasn't home. My village was home. So it feels weird here - unlike Nairobi, where I actually lived and can see how the city has evolved, Yaoundé still looks messily the same. I try to remember my previous impressions: were there always this many military checkpoints?
This morning I attended church at the Bastos Branch, in a swish part of town with large expatriate homes and offices of various international organizations. Most of the members were Cameroonian, with two US Embassy families and the mission president and his wife (from Las Vegas), and Congolese elders (Cameroon is part of the Kinshasa mission). During Sunday School I was "pulled out" for an short chat with the branch president and the mission president, and then at the start of sacrament meeting both myself and the other visitor (a French gentleman living in the Canary Islands) were "invited" to bear our testimonies. It was a little weird - as directive as our church is, I've never been publicly singled out like that before.