We Went to Africa – Travel Series! (Part 6)

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We. Went. To. Africa…Cameroon and Democratic Republic of the Congo style

(Part 6)

Woo! What a summer!

Can you believe that in only one day, September 1st will be upon us? Well you know what that means. Soon we’ll be seeing yellow school buses and flashing lights, feeling the crisp air on our faces for our morning commutes and taking in the sights of brightly colored foliage for miles and miles.

In all this pending change, I’ve wanted to continue with our Africa series for sometime now. Good new folks, you’ll have to wait no more…here it is!

Heads up, make sure you keep up and stay with the group, this is gonna be a quick trip!

Trip #1: Cameroon

Meet your tour guides:

Welcome back travel buddies! You’re in for an exciting time as we explore the beautiful county of Cameroon located in Central Africa. If you’re a bit hesitant to dive in, relax, our tour guides have got it covered. Meet teenagers Louise-Marie and Elodie as they introduce you to what they enjoy most about their country and the hopes they have for what it can be in the future. Check out more of their tour.

Louise-Marie and Elodie will leave you wanting more so be sure to explore the rest of what this website has to offer here:

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That’s some wild wildlife!

Cameroon is home to screaming red and green monkeys. With this in mind, I thought it’d be interesting to hear from the howler monkey (found in southern Mexico to northern Argentina) who proudly holds the title of loudest animal on earth! That’s wild! Find out more about these amazing creatures here:

And then swing on over to your local library and grab this fun book!

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A Tricky Folktale!

You know a trip to Africa wouldn’t be complete without a tale of trickery and wits. Here’s one you’re sure to enjoy!

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Sense Pass King, A Story from Cameroon by Katrin Tchana

Sense Pass King tells the story of a clever little girl named Ma’antah. Witty, resourceful and full of confidence from birth, Ma’antah is given a new name, Sense Pass King and becomes the ire of her king. Over the course of several adverse circumstances he puts before her, she proves successful over them all. Find out how she outwits the king and leads her kingdom to a bright future.

Trip #2: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Welcome Center!

You’ll find out all you need to know about the Democratic Republic of Congo (the DR Congo for short) right here on the Our-Africa website! The DR Congo and the Republic of Congo could easily be confused. When I first heard about them, I definitely was! But as this site explains, they’re often referred to as the Congo Basin. Phew! That makes more sense! Explore this site to learn more.

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Grab Your Gear!

If you’re feeling frisky, grab your gear and get ready to hike the world’s most dangerous volcano, Mount Nyiragongo! If you’d rather go the safer route, check out the trek a few daring souls were willing to brave on their hike to Virunga’s most popular tourist attraction.

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Raging Congo Creatures

As we end our journey to the DR Congo, we must make one last stop at the mighty Congo River. Its raging waters and formidable creatures have forged some of the most uniquely adapted fish and animals. Catch a glimpse of what it has to offer.

** NOTE: For sensitive young ones you may want to skip this video and head on over to this one instead:

60 Seconds of Life on the Congo River

Thanks for trekking with us! We hope to see you back real soon for another installment of the We Went to Africa Series! And if you’ve missed any of our other trips be sure to check them out here: We. Went. To. Africa Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Blessings,

Courtney

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a Glory Hog

Wow! What a year! I can’t believe July 1 of this year marked my blog’s 1st anniversary! And as we welcome August today, I must celebrate my 1 for 1, i.e. the 1 year, 1 month anniversary of my Writeaway31 blog!!!

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WOO WHOOOOOO!

I must apologize to those of you who haven’t heard from me in the last three months as much has happened. Our very successful homeschool year ended and now my girls are happy campers enjoying Camp Hope. My little Batman and I have been hanging out a ton this summer but on top of all that, I’m expecting baby #4!!!

In a nutshell, life has gotten pretty busy. I’ve had to navigate some morning sickness and lots of fatigue but now that I’m in my thirteenth week of pregnancy, I can gladly say it seems the worst is behind me!

As I get my mojo, back I’m excited for what’s to come — more writing, more fun and even more homeschool adventures! That brings me to my happy place!

So why’s that important? Why does it matter that I’m even sharing all this with you guys?

Hmm

Well for starters, I guess it wouldn’t be a blog if I didn’t. Haha

But more importantly, I’d say that as life goes on, and my kids’ pants become high waters and they begin to wear what I like to refer to as the “Winnie”… (you know how Winnie the Pooh always had on a belly shirt?), my kids are growing bigger and bigger and things are changing. But as that happens, I can’t get caught off guard when my plans must also change.

At the start of the summer, I had high hopes to enjoy a huge chunk of writing but that didn’t go down. Instead, I spent many days as prisoner to Netflix episodes of Ninjago on repeat while confined to the couch in misery.

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But was this still not what God intended or had in mind for me this summer?

My plans were nothing close to what actually occurred. I envisioned cute little mommy and me outings for my sweet rambunctious little boy. However, in all actuality, I counted it a win if I saw his sisters off to camp and showered each day.

The truth is, I have been a little bummed that the dreams I had of completing tons of submissions for my book and obtaining an agent went largely unfulfilled. But as I recently told my sister in a conversation in which she was feeling a little unsure of some things (you see she also happens to be expecting but this is her first child), without hesitating, I said, “That’s motherhood girl! Prepare to be unprepared.”

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In all honesty, I think every mother would attest to this one way or another.

But why then is this simple concept so difficult for me to grasp?

I’ve been around this block going on four times now! Yet I still get caught up on minor details, plans not materializing, feeling inadequate and self-doubt overstaying its welcome a little too long.

Why is it that I feel something must be wrong with me when that happens? Why do I think there’s some lucky shirt I can just put on each morning that will allow me to avoid the pitfalls of every day life happening to me?

One of the many answers to this is because of my own inflated notion of a successful track record.

What I mean is, I like to consider myself as successful at the art of motherhood.

My kids are well behaved…for the most part…

They don’t embarrass me in public…on most days…

They seem pretty well adjusted in this life…when they’re not freaking out…

And they’re all around likable kids.

All this adds up to is the credit I like to give myself (and my husband) for playing a part in this success.

But what is reality?

If it was not for the grace of God on my life every single day which allows me to mother the way I do, love them the way I do, shepherd their little hearts the way I do, it would all be a wash. Their personalities are even a testament to God’s grace on our lives!

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When I was pregnant with my first child, I was concerned with how she’d fit into Curtis and I’s relational dynamic. Many times we found ourselves praying God would help it be a smooth transition so our couple wouldn’t turn into three’s a crowd. And I believe God heard us and answered. In fact, he has done so three times over!

So now, the rowdy, silly, crazy and funny little rabbits we have are not because of our own doing. Any credit we think we deserve is wholly and fully due to the gift God has given us in being able to parent them the way we do and them willingly receiving it the way they do.

When I try to steal God’s thunder by taking the credit due His name, I inevitably become a glory hog.

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In the last days and weeks, I’ve become acutely aware of my tendency to do just this. I’ve felt the need to repent of it often. Sadly, this sinful tendency as of late is my Achilles Heel. As annoying as it is to come face to face with the reality of my brokenness in this way, I am grateful to know God doesn’t do away with me or punish me by letting my kids act a fool to teach me a lesson. He graciously waits for me to recognize the error of my ways and turn back to him.

As I think about how God is growing and shaping my ability to mother my children, I am thankful for the opportunity. It is not uncommon for me to be asked if the life I now live was my original plan…you know, being a homeschool mom and all.

Even now, as I think about this question, I’m chuckling because the answer is absolutely not! I never once had the thought cross my mind. Not in childhood, not in college, not in grad school and not even when I was initially married!

The funny thing is, now that I am, I can’t see myself doing anything else…at least for right now.

I absolutely love what I am and what I do with my whole heart!

I am confident in who I am and what God has allowed me to be. I’m riding this thing out until the wheels fall off!

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This is why its so important for me to remember that it is God who has put me here and not slip into thinking it was by any of my own doing.

When success comes, I must celebrate him!

When trials come, I must remember him!

And when life gets interesting, I must know he is the author of my life and if not for him there would be no me!

Well that’s all I’ve got, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post, if you did, feel free to hit that follow button and do me a solid by sharing this post!

Until next time…

Blessings,

Courtney