Sponsored by Toyota

Looking at the vehicles as you walk around the SIL compound in Yaoundé, you might think the place is sponsored by Toyota. Nearly every vehicle on the compound is a Toyota of some shape or form—most of them white, to boot. The visiting bush missionaries (like us) and the consultants who live in Yaoundé but travel regularly to the villages drive all manner of Toyota SUVs; the hostels for the MKs attending RFIS (boarding school) have 15-passenger vans/mini-buses. Even the cars are, by and large, Toyotas.

In the wider context, Toyotas are also prevalent. All taxis are yellow Toyotas and pretty much any vehicle that makes it into Bekondo during rainy season is a Toyota Hilux (or Mike’s Land Cruiser). In Yaoundé, you also see plenty of Mercedes, Peugeots, and Renaults. In general, you see lots of Asian imports: a smattering of Mitsubishis, Isuzus, Nissans, but surprisingly, no Hondas. I even saw 3 Fords today, to my utter amazement, but no Hondas. Land Rovers—supposedly the ubiquitous African vehicle—are conspicuously absent from Cameroon. Maybe they’re a safari and desert vehicle.


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