Two days ago I drove home the usual 750 km on those terrible roads… I made just a quick stop in Bouar to begin the preparation of the fair we’ll do on the 18th and 19th of February. then I drove North, to check the three working sites for the new saving banks in Koui, Bocaranga e Ngaundaye.
Once I came back in Bozoum, Father Norberto told me someone brought me 2 bags of rice and a lovely rooster for me! He also handed in a letter, in which one of the guys responsible for one of the rice co-ops (groupement) was thanking me for the training we did, that helped him to harvest an exceptional crop. That’s why I got the present!!! I must say I was really touched by this! He sent me more than 200 kg of unrefined rice (risone), it’s roughly about 75 euro, two months his salary!!!
a couple of years ago we introduced a new technique for rice cultivation that an Italian agronomist from Dronero presented to me. It was first invented in Madagascar, by a French Jesuit (what a small world!)
Now we are resuming the trainings and we begin to see the first good effects, the rice harvest has set an outstanding record: in Bocarangua they managed to produce 11 tons per hectare (Italian average per hectare is 5.6 tons; here usually is around 2 tons…).It’s great when people are thanking you! It’s not happening very often…but it feels great. After all it hardly happens around, in Italy, or elsewhere for that matter not even at home between family members… Few years ago I went to say Mass in Bangarem, village 70 km far from Bouar (2 hours drive, then pirogue to cross the river and another half our walk…) I was with Father Carlo, who previously worked in that area, some twenty years ago and actually built the foundation of the chapel. At the end of the Mass, an elderly man came towards us with a beautiful rooster and he said “Father Carlo, 20 years ago you were here and you drove me to Bouar (70 km) when I was sick because I suffered from strangulated hernia. They operated me and I survived the surgery. Since then we haven’t seen each other and I never and the chance to say thanks. So here it is, thank you”.