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The More the Merrier

Monday, July 18th, 2005

Beyond the RSVP

Cathy, a great friend and amazing graphic designer (, is designing our wedding invitations. They are gorgeous and I can’t wait to mail them to everyone.

One of my challenges is (was?) deciding how to requesst RSVPs because I was worried about how much postage is necessary to send mail to and from Cameroon AND how long responses would take to come back. I suggested to William that we put my email and his cell number on the invitations. He flatly refused access to his cell and he introduced me to the world beyond RSVPs. And so in a new take on cultural relativism, I have gone from being a very laid back North American to an uptight African.

For your edification: when you are invited to a wedding in Cameroon you will not be expected to confirm your attendance and if you are not invited don’t hesitate to show up for the celebration, great food and dancing. William has even admitted that he has attended a reception or two just because . . .

Vive la difference!!

Bon Voyage Bridal Party

Sunday, July 10th, 2005

Some of my good friends threw me a combination Bridal Shower and Bon Voyage Party on Friday night. There were balloons, and a “wedding” cake for all the friends who won’t be in Cameroon. My Mom and my brother said really nice things about me and Andrea told everyone how William and I met (the PG version).

Then we had a little talk show about Cameroon. I, of course, was the “host” and took questions from the “audience”. Here’s my summary of the informaton: Cameroon is located in West Africa and has a population of 16 million people. The official languages are French and English. The capital is Yaounde and the largest city is Douala. Douala is a port city on the Bight of Biafra in the Atlantic Ocean. The average temperature in Douala is in the low 30s with high humidity. We will also be visiting Bafoussam and Banghate.

There is a large national park called Waza, with game animals and I definitely want to have a safari tour. My favourite Cameroonian food was lovingly described and I’m sure I’ll have many additional favourites over the next few months.

I received lots of love and support from everyone and it reminded me why I’m so lucky to know them.

Now if only I could get someone to pack up my house . . .
The first wedding cake

Who needs Danielle Steel . . .

Sunday, July 10th, 2005

In the fall of 2003 my friend Andrea and I were discussing a tour in southeast Asia with Intrepid Travel. We were considering a cycling trip in Vietnam or a climbing and wildlife tour in Sabah, Borneo. Our friend Shurla also wanted to come and really wanted to do the cycling trip, so Vietnam it was. We all put up our deposits and began preparing for 15 days on the road. Eventually Shurla decided that she couldn’t come and it was too late to switch our deposits to another trip. There were many hills in Vietnam where Shurla’s name became a kind of (affectionate? O:-) ) curse.

The food in Vietnam was awesome and so cheap. My most memorable meal was at a great restaurant in Hoi An. We had a cooking lesson that cost about USD$10, which included an awesome meal when our class was done. The lesson included a discussion of the importance of balance in Vietnamese cooking: variety in flavour and texture. [read on]

Go ahead, ask me “What’s New”

Sunday, July 10th, 2005

If you already know the details, here’s the short version: my fiancĂ©, William has been refused his second application for a visitor visa to Canada. We have decided that he will return to Cameroon and I will make arrangements to relocate to Cameroon . We also decided that we are planning our wedding for October 1st.

If this leaves a big hole in the last part of the story you heard, here’s the whole story from the VERY beginning.