Posted by: macahajo | June 2, 2014

18 1/2 hours

Around 1:30am, the fans stopped. Then there were a couple flickers of light, and then darkness. The power had gone out. This happens often in Africa. Sometimes, it’s out for an hour, and sometimes it’s out longer. Our first weekend in Yaounde, the power was out for about 6 hours, and then the water was out the next day for about 3 hours!  Welcome to Africa! 🙂

We woke up later in the morning to the power still out. We ate our cereal for breakfast which was a fun treat for our family. (Cereal is so expensive here, about 6-7 dollars a box, so we’ve been eating more oatmeal, eggs, and baguettes.) Then, Mark and the kids ran some errands and went to recess at the school where Josh will go in the fall. While they were gone, I got some things organized and did a little office work. The power outage continued into the afternoon.

Thankfully, we have a gas stove, so we were able to make lunch and then dinner.  However, I was starting to get concerned about the food in our refrigerator. We prayed that the power would come back on!  Our home was getting darker with the setting of the sun.

We ate our dinner by candle-light, and the conversation turned to some of the challenges that come with serving in Africa….hard good-byes, home-sickness, loneliness. Lack of power may be inconvenient, and it may bring frustration, but it’s so much harder to deal with the deeper emotions that one can feel living cross-culturally, half-way around the world from loved ones and from what is familiar. 

As we were finishing our dinner conversation, the power came back on!!  After 18 hours without power, our neighborhood (and our family) let out loud cheers of gladness to have the lights back on!  The fans turned on, I plugged in my phone that had died and my computer that didn’t have much charge left, and I started to do the dishes!

After about a half hour, the kids were having screen time (video game time for Josh and Facebook time for Hannah!), and I had just finished cleaning up from dinner when… the power went out again!! Ugh!  There was a little discouragement within all of us at this point. Would it be out for the rest of the night? And into tomorrow?

Well, there was nothing we could do about it. I was thankful that at least I got the kitchen cleaned up without a flash-light!  We decided to take our chairs outside. The night sky was beautiful; the stars were shining and the lightning lit up the sky in the distance.  We rested outside, talked with each other, and pet Belle, the dog we are happy to be dog-sitting as of yesterday!

Thankfully, the second power outage only lasted a half hour.

This is life in Africa!  Thanks for sharing in this journey with us.

In Christ, Cathy Lynn



  1. I am so thankful for your posts, Cathy! It’s a way to stay connected and get an understanding of what life is like for you all there. Keep them coming! 🙂 Love and prayers. ❤

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