Saturday, April 23, 2016

Prise de Contact

When a leader comes into a new position, one of the early things he (sorry, they are mostly “he” here) does is to take a trip to visit the programs, institutions, towns with whom he will be working.  Regional Bishop Nguembe Djidere Nestor was elected about a year ago and was installed in the summer.  He is now finishing his month-long “prise de contact tournée” (trip around the East region to meet people and officially greet them).

The bishop saved Garoua Boulai for last – probably because he lives here.  He has been visiting the Lutheran churches in town and today came to the Bible School and Social Center.  There was a liturgy which included introducing everyone connected to the Bible School and the team that is traveling with the bishop.  Part of the tradition is to offer a gift to the new person.  It might be money (to help defray travel costs) or a gift in kind. 

Here’s a picture of some of the almost 40 goats the bishop has received!  They are staked out in his yard and part of the area in front of the Bible School.  The goats are fed on the green grass now growing abundantly and they are fertilizing the lawn as well! 

 After the liturgy, we took pictures and all walked over to the Social  Center for refreshments.

 Some of the students carried the chairs – on their heads, of course.

Tomorrow the bishop and his team will visit the French and Gbaya services of the church closest to us.  Later in the week, they will visit the hospital and Lutheran schools. 

Then, the new governor of this region is coming for his “prise de contact” on Monday!  Lots of excitement and Cameroonian flags everywhere.

1 comment:

  1. interesting. Makes me uncomfortable about the difference between gifts and bribes. I guess each culture defines it differently.