Tomorrow Ken and Kurt will kiss the wives and head to BNA (Nashville International Airport) to start the 3 continent jaunt to West Africa. Three planes, four legs to the flight path, to meet up with Serges and the Festi Gospel Jam folks (Check them out on Facebook) The How-Did-We-Get-Here is a bit of story but one part I thought everyone might like to see is about the Visas to get into Cameroon.
The country of Cameroon is near many nations that have experienced recent civil unrest (most notably Nigeria). To acquire an entrance/tourist visa is a multi-page application process. Unlike Europe where you can just show up and it doesn’t cost anything, or East African nations like Kenya where you can just show up and pay a nominal fee, to be allowed into Cameroon you must submit a thorough application. It must include proof of citizenship, proof of financial well-being, proof of place to stay or reside while in country and a sizable fee. Then all that documentation, money AND your actual passport goes to the Cameroonian Embassy in Washington, D.C. where they decide to grant a visa.
I took this picture to try to convey how ornate the visa is. My passport is filled up with crooked, barely legible green and blue stampings from places like Mexico and Kenya. But Ken and Kurt’s passports have this intricate, multi-colored, even metal paper-pressed, multi-signatured visa to get to see and work with Serges. Pretty cool!!