Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baboua in Garoua Boulai!

Wow!  I almost felt like I was in Baboua,  CAR yesterday!  Seven people I have worked with there was all in Garoua Boulai, Cameroon – and all at once for part of the time!  Seeing and working with these people makes it so much easier to do the work I was sent to do.  (I was so happy to see people and busy working with them that I didn’t even think about pulling out my camera.  The pictures here are, therefore, not of people.)

First, Rev. Jackie Griffin came from N’gaoundéré Sunday.  We are doing a vehicle shuffle.  It is too complicated to explain it all, but I can say that there are currently seven vehicles in front of my house!  (One would think I was a rich American…)  Many are there because it is not yet secure enough to have them in CAR.  I keep saying seven vehicles, but only one key for me.  In any case, Jackie came with one pick-up and is leaving with a different one.  I just went out and took a picture of the front of my (guest) house – can you count all seven?  (When Jackie leaves I will be back to six and later this week someone else is coming for one, so that will be five….)

Next, David Zodo, Curriculum Advisor, and Mathias Votoko, Community Developer, both from the Village School Program, arrived about 9 a.m.  I knew Mathias was coming to talk to me about some financial questions, but I was pleased to see that David came, too.  We worked for the morning completing the monthly report of activities and the request for money needed for the next month along with several other tasks.  I really appreciate working with such dedicated people! 

Later, the Mayor of Baboua came.  He stops by when he has business in Garoua Boulai.  I appreciate his friendship and the news he brings.  Yesterday he came, in part, to be able to visit with Jackie, another friend of his.  The five of us had lunch together.  Fortunately, I had made dinner for Jackie and me on Sunday and had ended up with way too much.  We ate it all Monday!  It is a courtesy to provide food – in any culture, but especially when it there are few restaurants in town.  It is also my pleasure.

As we were finishing lunch, David Gbaberi, a Cameroonian, stopped by. He had been working on a small problem with the pick-up Jackie brought.  It turns out he is related to the mayor and Mathias.  Small world.  He sat and joined our conversation for a bit.

Then, as we were talking, Patrick Kelembo, the administration for the EEL-RCA, arrived with his wife and the church’s chauffer.  I had not seen Patrick for quite some time, so I was pleased with the visit and news from Bouar. 

Also yesterday, I then had visits from other people from Garoua Boulai.  Rev. Nestor NGuembe, Director of the Bible School in Garoua Boulai stopped by to say hello to Jackie and greeted the others who were here.  He didn’t stay long since we were in meetings.  In the afternoon, I had my regular Gbaya lesson with Robert Ngnako for 1 ¾ hours (cutting it short because of all the other work and visitor…).  Soon after he left, Crispin Didier Nzamiyo stopped by.  We had arranged his visit before I knew I would have lots of other company!  He is the Financial Officer for EMIPA, a program currently funded by the European Union, that works to provide basic services to villages – a permanent school, wells for clean water, health clinic, and/or other needs identified by the villagers.  They also emphasize teaching nonviolence to parents and families.  He wanted to explain the program to me so that we might consider working together at some point in the future.  It was very interesting to hear what they are doing.  Of course, I have no idea now what might be possible in the future, but who knows? 
Pretty flowers outside the house

After all those visits and related work, I was fortunate that Jackie prepared dinner for us!  We relaxed in the evening and now I am up and back to “regular” work – email, phone calls, studying Gbaya, and writing a blog entry.  Yesterday was a very satisfying day for many reasons.  I hope you can say the same about your day today.

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