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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Missionaries, schools and roads.

A week is made of 7 days, but it feels way longer indeed!

On Monday morning i went into town with Vojtech  (a volunteer who works for Siriri from Czech Republic. Their government helps out with our schooling funds) and we went to check out the schools, and make sure they were open. And it was a pleasant surprise to find teachers at their station, welcoming the children and prep for enrolling.

In each school the parents set to clean up and mow the grass. In one particular school, the parents organized a TV room, a generator and a PA system, had the kids there for a couple of hours with videos, music and films as a welcoming for the new school year. such a party!

As for the refugees, we hold a contest and selected the first eight teachers that in these days had intensive training.
At the end of this week i'm happy to say the students in Bozoum were 1196

On Tuesday morning alarm rang at 4 am. after the Mass (it was Saint Therese of Avila"s day, our founder) I set off to Bouar, passing through Bossentele and Baoro. Got there about 9.30
On my way I saw Fomac militaries (central-African countries force) on their way to Bouar to take service. There will be within few weeks, 500 militaries. hopefully it will bring back some peace and safety.
in the meantime during this week I managed to pass through 14 barriers with no harm done....

Tuesday and Wednesday i was at the pastoral meeting of our diocese: we were about 60, gathered with the Bishop, laics, priests and nuns all operating in the parishes in these whereabouts. And we 
gave each other comfort, despite the problems in these past months, to serve with joy and strength the Lord and his people here. During the Mass on Wednesday evening we prayed for two volunteers who died: our beloved Giorgio Grandicelli and Antonio Savietto.

On Thursday morning I went back. At 10 am we got to Bohong, the village where the rebels burned more than 1500 homes. The ONG ACF (Action Contre la Faim) truck followed us. We handed out blankets, ground cloths, mosquito nets, cooking tools, cleaning and hygienic products for 3350 families....

We also met with the local Imam and the remaining of local authorities, rebels included. The atmosphere was less tense than last week, today's distribution should help everyone regain some strength and hope. We'll also try to help out for the schools reopening here as well.

in the afternoon we set off to Bocaranga, arrived there in the evening. Friday hit the road again. in these past months of rain, the roads have gotten worse, suddenly we got stuck un the mud, no way to get it out, not even with a double bridge. After a while, with the help of some locals, we removed mud and dirt, we were sinking in up to the knee! Finally, after 2 hours we managed to get it out!

Once again we stopped in Herba, the village with 222 burned homes. I met with the school's principal and encouraged him to reopen soon. Of course, they're still very scared...let's hope. We picked up a guy who was shot and brought him to the Bozoum hospital. his situation is really bad, as the bullet probably broke the femur and here is not even possible to have an xray. hopefully we'll be able to bring him to another hospital!

During these days, as well as planning how to pass the barriers without getting shot, i distracted myself with some music. Beethoven, Rossini. and also I found a song by Jovanotti, which is dedicated to his wife, but my ears listened to this as if it was a prayer. October is the month for Missions and to me it makes it even more true:

For you who simply are substance to my days
For you who are my great love and my love wide
for you who took my life and made it more
for you who taught me dreams and the art of adventure
for you who are the best thing that ever happened to me
the only love that I'd wish for if you weren't mine
for you who made my life so beautiful, who transform hardship an immense pleasure
for you who took my life and made it more

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