Soon after we arrived to Cameroon in 2010, Jonah didn’t want to keep shoes on his feet. I noticed that the majority of the MK’s (Missionary Kids) were running around barefoot. Jonah liked this idea. I also noticed that MK’s feet are generally dirty looking, wide and very calloused. Joshua didn’t join in on the barefoot thing, however, he liked wearing baboush (foam slip on shoes very popular here), so his feet are usually muddy on the bottom (dirt mixed with sweat). Jonah thinks you only need shoes for getting from point A to point B. At school shoes are slipped off as line place holders while the kids run around playing. It’s not unusual to hear kids asking where their other shoe is because they can’t find it. It’s also normal to use a shoe in capture the flag (capture the shoe). Shoes are littered everywhere at school and on compounds where children are.
When the boys need to wear socks and sneakers, they both complain about how hot, how sweaty, how confined their feet feel and they can’t wait to take them off. A man who grew here as a MK, returned to be the speaker at the RFIS retreat – notice his feet.