Boali is a town about 1 1/2 hours outside of Bangui. About 15 minutes down a dirt road, you get to a huge waterfall. They have also built two power plants that supply much of Bangui’s electricity. Actually, one was built in1963. They have also built a dam to control the water flow – and it has provided easier access to fish for people in the area. (We had some at a restaurant in the town on the way down to Bangui. It is delicious! They told me it was carp.)
In 1977 I visited the falls with some Peace Corps friends. This is one thing that is much the same – at least the waterfalls. The steps that go down beside the falls were similar although 30 years ago we could walk all the way to the bottom. Now, ½-way down the steps have fallen into disrepair – because of the rainy season they said. Now, there is a hotel and restaurant at the top where before there was only a paillote (thatched-roof held up by wooden posts) for a restaurant that was not operational. We each paid 1,000 cfa entry fee ($2) and then were followed by 6-8 young men who all wanted to be our guides. Years ago we were followed by very young children.
The people have built a narrow bridge over the river just above the falls. It is one metal cord with sticks that make a small bannister-type arrangement. We saw two people crossing slowly with a huge load on their heads – they didn’t want their pictures taken. Two of the pastors and a young women from our group went out part way.
Here are some pictures of the trip to the falls.
|Boali Falls - 2012|
|Our Group - President Golike and his Wife, Gordon & Betty Olsen, Pr. Paul, Pr. Alan, Me, Arnaise (driver)|
|Steps - 2012 in need of repair|
|Pastor Golike and his wife on stairs|
|Stairs - 1977|
|Boali Falls postcard 1977|
|Boali Falls from below - 1977|
|Pr. Paul on bridge|