This week few things happened…Wednesday afternoon I went off to Bouar, 250km far from here. Rebels put a bar, they ask me in Sango where do I go. Around, I say. He perhaps doesn’t understand and replies ok you can go…
In Bossemptele, 85 km, two more bars. At the first one they lazily move it. At the second they ask me where do I go. Around, I say. They get angry and ask me the certificate mission document. So I say where’s yours? – they actually have no right to be there to stop people (only their weapons make it so). I also explain I’m doing my job and he replies almost in French “Je suis travaillé ici”….(which means I was worked here)
Then he lifted the bar and let me pass----- everything else went all right. In Bouar I met people, brothers from the St.Elie and Yolè community. On Thursday morning we had a meeting with the parish members of Justice and Peace. We exchanged information and opinions on the present situation. Soon we’ll begin a series of radio programs to help people think things over, on democracy, society…..
Friday 31st, festival of Mary and Elizabeth we gathered in the afternoon on mount Talo, a hill overlooking Bozoum. We celebrated the mass, prayed for this country and asked Mary to bless us with her mercy
Saturday the Christians of Justice and Peace organized a meeting with members of Education Agency. Out of 70, 66 teachers just ended a 8 months training. Problem is that they haven’t been paid yet and many are still based in the capital. We beseeched them to think of this country’s future, to the families’ situation and eventually they accepted to reopen the schools again. Therefore, on Monday the 3rd of June, after 2 months break, schools will be open once again…..
On Sunday I was visiting a sick woman in the neighborhood and they told me the rebels just arrested a guy from our parish, Christian Mandaba. He’s one of the Counseling Center managers in our Caritas home opened every Sunday for poor, orphans and widows…..this morning a lady came and brought back some stuff stolen by her husband off to a local merchant, to be given back.
Christian accepted the task and set off to the merchant’s house. Unfortunately the latter told the rebels to arrest Christian, in order to gain information about the real culprit….
So, after giving the sick woman her holy communion I went over there… Christian is outside, asking how come they arrested him. They say the Commander decided so. They took him and brought him inside. I went after them, they were shouting a bit…so was I. I said until they release him I won’t go away. I refused the chair they gave me, I sat on the concrete floor. For them this is a great offense! We discussed a while. I eventually sat on their chair (which was unstable and rather unsteady)
We discussed, and argued, and discussed ...Commander arrived, we greeted each other and We discussed, and argued, and discussed some more…every now and then some of the toughest rebel chimed in…and eventually we came to a conclusion.
They set him free.
So I finally walked back home.
This time all went well……