Many of you have seen the news about trouble in the Central African Republic. Rebels have taken towns in the north and central part of the country. They have agreed to talks with the government, and countries in the area are helping begin the process. Meanwhile, the rebels continue to take towns and fight in others getting ever closer to the capital. (Yesterday they took Sibut – without a fight – which is about 75 miles from Bangui, the capital.)
In the western part of the country where I normally live and work, all is calm – no fighting or rebels in evidence. Nevertheless, at the recommendation of the National Church President and the U.S. embassy, all ELCA missionaries have evacuated. We left Christmas Eve (spending that in Garoua Boulai, just over the border in Cameroon, and came to N’gaoundéré on Christmas day.
Since this is the Christmas holiday and church offices (including those of the two programs I work for) are closed, this feels more like an unplanned vacation. Of course, we will not go back until the National Lutheran Churches in CAR and the US agree that it is safe (so my vacation is likely to be extended…)
Meanwhile, we are visiting sites around N’gaoundéré. Thursday 5 people and a dog climbed to the top of Mount N’gaoundéré. There were lots of rocks and some trail. The rock on the top looks like an “outie” belly button – which I am told is what the word n’gaoundéré means in the local language! Here are a few pictures. I love the one of the dog Lady in the car on the way home.
Saturday 15 of us – missionaries and Cameroonians – drove about 1 ½ hours to see Les Chutes (waterfalls) de Tello. The falls are pretty high and very pretty although not a wide as Niagara Falls or Bouli Falls (near Bangui, CAR). This is close enough to the rainy season that there was a lot of water, but not as much as there would have been a couple of months ago. We ate lunch, hiked some, talked, enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation, and had a great time. Here are a few pictures.
Monday we are planning to visit another area where ruins of very old villages can still be seen. Maybe I can write more about that next time.
Merry 6th Day of Christmas.