Monday, April 20, 2009

Sprint to the Finish

Dear friends and family

Sorry for the lame blogging - we've been losing and breaking cameras like crazy, and are gearing up for the big move this summer. Beleive it or not my big break came now that Kristie and the two older boys are on a school trip to Bratislava, Slovakia (long story). It's wrestlemania during the day, but Lincoln wears out by nine or so...

Truth is, while there are frustrations and challenges here in Cameroon, it has been a wonderful home for all of us, and expanded our horizons in countless ways. France will of course be wonderful, and have snow, and we are consoling ourselves that we will see many more of you at a post that is about as accessible and alluring as you can find. The Swaneys senior get the grand prize for making it out to the bush twice to share in the travel, raising a litter of puppies, and enjoying an afternoon swim with Lincoln and the dogs. (working on that blog entry).

Anyhow - before we leave Cameroon we've been trying to do all those things we either haven't gotten to, or can't get enough of.

Top on the list - conquering the Mt. Cameroon Race of Hope. After two years of nearly completing this full marathon that starts at 3000 feet and goes to over 14000 feet - Bill took the suggestion of a Cameroonian friend (Kristie's tennis coach) who pointed out that the mountain was still there, and that I didn't HAVE to wait another year to run the course. Thus was born the first annual (perhaps) U.S. -Cameroon Friendship hike/run. By sharing the experience with Cameroonian friends, work colleagues and visiting U.S. military colleagues a personal psychosis evolved into a fun day hike for most of the participants, and a man vs. mountain battle for Bill and a handful of U.S. Marines (who got a 4 hour head start) and arrived at the summit by noon - where is was still approaching the freezing point with high winds. Kristie and the boys also defended the family honor pushing far up the mountain and then carrying a sleeping Lincoln all the way down.

Three times a charm - at the halfway mark of my personal marathon

Cameroonian and American Friends on the Trail

School has also been going very well this year - with Kristie enjoying her small (7 students) fourth grade class, and her star student (Graham). She has also REALLY enjoyed her tennis, and become the school champion. Eli has also thrived, keeping busy with tennis lessons, and a hip-hop dance class where he is learning moves that make my back hurt from watching. Lincoln also loves school, and is very popular, most likely because he is usually in some kind of minor trouble, talks to everyone, only sometimes says things that make any sense, and has enough enthusiasm for an entire kindergarten class.

Eli Really is So Fly - (Moms' Genes)

SuperMom/Tennis Starlet with her coaches

During our recent Limbe trip we also celebrated Lincoln's fourth birthday - sharing the occasion with several good friends, and providing the perfect gift for him, a punching bag and boxing gloves...
Lincoln Celebrating with a Crocodile Ride

And a Horsey Ride

And we cannot forget the newest Swaney - our second baby girl, Cameron