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Saturday, August 23, 2014

In Between showers....

In Between showers....

On Friday the 15th we celebrated the Assumption Day, and we went for the traditional march to Doussa, 5 km from here and did Mass. Loads of people came on foot, time got better even if it had rained all night. We prayed for our parish and for our country, always on the ragged edge. We also prayed for the whole world, nowadays so threatened by wars folly. The following day a bad accident happened. In Bombalou, 45 km from Bangui, they stopped a car of a Ong working here for reconstruction. Thugs were Antibalakas, threatened to kill the Muslim driver, thankfully they were satisfied by just taking their money (150 euros) I wasn't sure what to do, nevertheless I went there on Sunday afternoon. It took more than an hour, even for 45 km. once I got there I met some head-villages and some people. Then I was determined to send my message across, make them understand there must be consequences, such an attack could put a stop to all attempt of reconstruction and send all ONGs away. Their reaction was good, they thanked me and told me they would have a meeting with those men the next a day. Some were actually present and told me they felt the right to assault the car as the Muslim driver helped on the defense for Muslim community. So I took that opportunity to think things over, to try and start fresh and build for a new life of peace and coexisting based on respect and forgiveness. As I was leaving I invited them to show their repentance with a  tangible gesture. Either surrender their weapons or give back the money. Few days later three men came in Bozoum and brought me some letters and half the stolen money. It was a good gesture. Hopefully this will show and help people to stop with violence and threats.  These days boring works for wells continue. So far they did 5 wells in Bozoum, 3 in Baoro and one in Bangui. Thanks to SIRIRI for the Bozoum school and thanks to mrs Angela for the others!!! Here is the link to a small video with people dancing in Marsaka for they were so happy about their new well.
Also we have novices here visiting with their teacher Father Voytech. Three are from Cameroon, one from Car. In few weeks they will go back to their first Profession, consecrating themselves to The Lord in the Carmel community.
Thanks to the help of some volunteers here  (Eleonora from San Possidonio, Marta and Alessandra form Savona) some kids are learning some skills. Shoemaking, leather tanning, and other crafts.

These are also steps towards the future.....

Pestando le corteccie per conciare le pelli
en écrasant l'éorce de certains arbres pour traiter des peaux, pour faire les chaussures

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Travels and National Holiday

Travels and National Holiday

These past ten days here in Bozoum life has been fairly serene, nevertheless there's a frail situation and much poverty.  I went to Bangui last week, had some meetings and picked up Alessandra and Marta, two volunteers who will be in Bozoum for few weeks with us. They are part of the group of friends which hosted Hypolite last February after his surgery in Bologna.
It was a big surprise for him as we didn't tell him they were coming here!
On Monday the 11th I went North, to visit Bocaranga and Ndim communities and to meet with the missionaries of Ngaundaye.
Roads are bad, but I managed to get there in four and a half hours, despite rain, mud and holes.
Thanks to Siriri, the Czech association, we received funding to support pregnant women, malnourished people and those who knock on our mission's door. On my way back i stopped in Tolle, there are about thirty Peuls left here and they are in need of assistance, so we'll see what can we do for them. As soon as I got home I went downtown where they're escalating for a new school dwell. They were drilling and in a few hours it was done, so children and neighbors will be able to access drinking water. Siriri is helping a lot. In the next few days more dwells will be made, thanks to a lady who supported for them.
Today the 13th of August is National Holiday. It's the CAR's Indipendence day. Despite everything we managed with other ongs to prepare a little event. Some running matches, a concert, a beauty contest (Miss Bozoum) and a soccer match. Just to give people a chance to breathe and enjoy themselves a little.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Off we go!

Off we go!
On Sunday the 27th of July, downtown was floded after the intense rains of the night. Little damages but few neighborhoods remained isolated for few hours.
We are in full rainy season and whilst the work in the fields intensifies some other realities are slowed down. Schools are closed, few examinations left to be done, such as the BC Brevet des Collèges, at the end of secondary school and  BAC, degrees.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I met with the Education functionaries. Thanks to The Lord and with so many people's help, especially Siriri association from Czech Republic, all the schools here in Bozoum have been able to work as usual during last year, which had very little normality. Together with the head departments we've been preparing for next year, reopening will be mid September.

Thanks to the help of a brotherhood in Cuneo this year we'll also be able to help out the kids of primary school, as we'll be able to grant their teacher a small fee.
It's only a small drop, but the rebirth of out country starts from training and education!
The situation here is extremely fragile. These days clashes have been reported about 300 km far from here in Batangafo, with at least 20 people killed. Roads are still very bad, there are many illegal barriers, and cars full of cows to be sold in the capital, leaving the countryside empty and destroying the cattle breeding of this country.

 Off we go. Slowly, but we go