What a Christmas Break!

    Three days after Meghan's grand entrance to this world, she moved back to her home, where everything has been ready for her arrival for quite a while. In front of the house, there are balloons and a sign "It's a girl! " is in the front yard. Inside, besides fresh flowers, Meghan's stuff is in every room, from playpen, crib, portable bed,  to disposable diapers, bottles, mobiles and humidifier, you name it, they've got it. Of course, this has changed the lives of the parents forever!  During this period, we stayed in Steven's new town house which is located nearby, about 12 minutes drive from Margaret and Franco's home. While Tom has only two weeks for the Christmas break, Janice has made arrangements for her class at the University of Buea so that she can stay a bit longer to help Margaret and Franco with Meghan. Janice will move to F & M's home when Tom flies back to Cameroon on the 3rd of January.

    While Janice is trying to be helpful, Tom tries hard to stay out of the way. He has tuned up his new portable computer to take to Cameroon, as J & T decided that the old laptop will be much more appreciated by the faculty at UB and we plan to leave it there when we come back home next summer. Last Saturday, two of Steven's good friends led a hike to Great Falls National Park. While it is small compared with other national parks, it is very beautiful and has an interesting historical background. To Tom's big surprise, it is only 45min from Steven's town house, and the wilderness was certainly appreciated by a lot of visitors on that cold day in the winter. Can you imagine what the falls would look like when spring snow melts and rain starts to fall.

    The last couple of days have been busy for us, getting ready for Tom to go back. Since we now know what they need there, we have acquired several items - from  more sets of  TI89 graphing calculators & CBLs and more probes, to some Styrofoam cups for use in the chemistry labs. Believe it or not, Cameroon does not use Styrofoam cups. They use  Styrofoam in many other places, such as packing materials and even coolers. For a country that produces a lot of good coffee, coffee drinking is not very popular. As a matter of fact, it's hard to get  roasted coffee beans  in local stores. They only sell instant Nescafe!  What do you want a Styrofoam cup for, if you can not find anyone who likes to drink a cup of cheap but good coffee?

    A final update for this issue: Meghan has just finished her first pediatrician check-up this Wednesday. She gained 5oz since she came home two days ago. Tom has given a Chinese name to Meghan and both Franco and Margaret like it. She will be called Wen-Sho in Chinese.  Wen is the generation name, this is the 18th word in our family poem (with a total of 28 words divided into 4 sentences, each has 7 words and all people born in the same generation use one word in the poem corresponding to the generation as part of their names)  to track generations. Wen  means literature, literacy, gentle and thoughtful. Sho means elegant, fine, beautiful and poised.

    Next time, Tom will again load the web pages from Cameroon. It is always a hassle to do the loading, as we have no idea how long will take to achieve that process.