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Thursday, April 18, 2013

War and peace….

Same as the last few months,  this week has been alternating with moments of joy and unfortunately many moments of sorrow and sadness…
Whereas in the rest of the country the situation is sadly very tense, here in Bozoum we live relatively calmly. Why? Probably it’s due to people’s will power, along with the presence of the Chad’s Consul…rebels visit him every time they pass through this area.
On Monday week we’re going to resume building the new student house…fingers crossed!
Last Wednesday at 5 we hit the road, myself, Joseph (the mechanic) and Christin (the mutual saving bank’s manager) off to: NDIM, a village 160km north side, bad roads, worse bridges.
About 8 we got to Bocaranga in a small Capuchin parish and a Caritas Sisters home. In this village the rebels plundered an American ONG called IRC that took care of education, wells building and healthcare….
On the way out of Bocaranga we met a car full of rebels…assault rifle, cartridge belts, sunglasses….rather unsettling….but we carried out as if nothing happened….
About 9 we got in NDIM. There’s a Capuchin community and another of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. They’re doing ok, however everyone is very much worried and tense…living for months in this conditions is really really hard.
They also re-opened schools and same as us, they try to give to Bocaranga kids the impression of normality.
We visited the mutual saving bank, that last week was attacked and plundered by the rebels.
They wrecked the grid and broke in and entered, took everything they could laid an hand, tore off all furniture and tried to break in the safe.
They didn’t make it, however they did great harm. Almost 2000 euro value (cash, 3 solar panel batteries, calculators, chairs, finance registers and books) and what is worse is that they seriously put in danger this whole activity…
After lunch we came back, we brought few students that were there visiting their families. Most especially Pierre was there, he’s 14 had sever speech and psychological traumas (couldn’t speak and had strange behavior), thank God he’s all improved and he came back home!
Thursday afternoon we held the teachers meeting for the second quarter, yesterday morning we handed out the report cards…
Friday afternoon I organized a training for the young, on the problems we’re living, trying to help them understand and think.
Yesterday we received bad news: rebels attacked the Bangui seminar and the Yole one in the evening, thanks to the archbishop’s help they managed to avoid the worst. They eventually left after they broke some car windows…
In Yole situation is worrying. At 8 pm 2 armed rebels and a guy from Bouar arrived there, took a young nurse as hostage and demanded to enter the place. They demanded money shot few times. In the meantime some monks warned Bouar on the local radio Siriri.
Some friends went looking for the rebels chief and brought him and few others there. The latter ones thought rebels were still inside and started to shoot (but they already left).
In the end we left with a a lot of fear and thankfully no one got injured or worse! Problem is that in Yole there are 80 kids and now the monks (father Enrico, father Maurice and father Marco) have a dilemma, to keep the kids there or not….
This, after three weeks of coup d’etat is a clear sign that the new rulers have no clue how to run this country….

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