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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Good job!

Works and activities are never lacking in Bozoum ... and it's not just because of me!
A meeting keeps me busy all morning on Monday. Unexpected young people have threatened with absurd pretexts NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) present in Bozoum to help us out in various activities. They came with absurd pretexts. What NGOs do it’s rebuild houses in our villages while repairing roads in the city. It’s enough to say that 2,500 people, in turn, have been able to have a job with a salary. On top of this by this method we could decrease a good number of social tensions.
The meeting, attended by NGOs, the Prefect and youth representatives, it was an opportunity to clarify some issues, and also to help young generation for a better understanding of the importance of having a job and training, without getting lost with the idea of easy money. However, it is also a sign of how it is sometimes difficult to be of any help. Not only, but how important it is to give dignity to the needy.  On Monday in Bangui, two people working with Caritas and the Health Commission of the Diocese of Bangui have been kidnapped by antibalaka. The two kidnapped are the Central African Brother Gustave Reosse and Claudia Priest from France. Coincidentally: on the flight back to Central Africa Claudia was next to me on the plane. The kidnapping is the work of antibalaka, confiding to have in exchange the release of a criminal, one of their leaders, who have been arrested just few days ago charged for crimes against humanity .The next day an Iraqi employed with the UN was kidnapped too, but soon released hours later.
Brother Gustave and Claudia on the contrary remained in the hands of the antibalaka. It was the Archbishop of Bangui the one who worked hard in leading the negotiations among many tensions. Finally, Friday 23, were both released. Yesterday morning, for a change, an International Red Cross car was attacked on the road by antibalaka, at 26 km from Bangui. Threatened and robbed of their cellphones and money.   This happened to the Red Cross! And what it’s even worst everything happened in front of the Gendarmes simply doing nothing to prevent it. Bad signs from my point of view: sign that there isn’t safety; sign that the whole security service of UN peacekeepers does not work; among other things, the fact of the abduction of people working clearly for a Catholic organization, should open the eyes of those who continue to speak of antibalaka as "Christian militias". Meanwhile in Bozoum, in addition to the organization of the Agricultural Fair to be held on January 31, we are rearranging the warehouses redoing the roof, on which next month we are going to install a solar panel system, which is a big step forward, allowing us to have power without the use of generators.
On the site you can find some detail about the new system: “The plant is of 11.2 kW. The project was funded and developed by SEVA with the technical assistance of Kad3Group and the donation of batteries by Vipiemme Solar. The photovoltaic system of Bozum would be operational this March coming, providing electricity to about 2,000 people, besides reducing by approximately 96% of diesel consumption. It provides an annual electricity production of around 18,000 kWh avoiding approximately 9000 kg/yr. of CO2. "    I have to say that all this is made possible by the work of Enrico Massone, who for almost 30 years comes back to RCA in order to help us out. With him there’s Alessio Vada together with our team of builders, and others volunteers like Anonio and Guliano, visiting for a few days, and immediately and generously at work with the paintbrush in hand. 
Good job!

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's cold!

It's cold!
Leaving Europe coming back to Central Africa, friends of mine told me: "Lucky you returning to the nice warmth of your Africa”. The problem is that, here in Africa, it is cold! During this season nighttime temperatures drop a lot. Here in Bozoum we can reach 9 degrees Celsius, while at daytime we easily reach 30-35 degrees Celsius. Children and elderly suffer a lot the change of temperature.
Since my return today I celebrate my first Sunday Mass which becomes an opportunity to pray together and sharing all the greetings and the memory of many people and communities I met in my staying in Italy.
Monday morning I visit Elementary and High School "St Augustin’s" students, presenting them the “Traite the Philosophie” a textbook just printed in Italy, thanks to the help of the cultural association "SALINZUCCA-IL SAPORE DEL SAPERE".
These days we find ourselves looking back to the events of last year. It was on January 13, 2014 when the rebels of the Seleka left Bozoum! There are still pains in our hearts together with little sign of hope! This week in fact a good number of Muslim parents came to us in order to enroll their children, which mean to us that they are coming back to Central Africa after living for one year in Chad as refugees.
Few days ago in Nigeria Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, has killed more than 2,000 people, although the events in Paris, from the point of view of the media, have obscured this tragedy. What’s happening there is worrying, that’s why the peaceful return of the Muslims in Central Africa is very good news.
Thursday and Friday I travel to Bouar.  I have had a meeting with the missionaries of Carmelite communities of Baoro, Saint Elie and Yolè seminar celebrating all together the Saint's day of Fr. Marcello. I met as well other men and women missionaries in order to make plans intended to help pregnant mothers and sick people, project supported by the Czech Republic. In Bouar I met also Fr. Benjamin, who is overseeing the preparation of the exhibition that will be held on February 7 and 8.
That Fair together with the one we are going to have in Bozoum (January 31 and February 1) in my mind are sign of seeds bearing fruits and hopes.


Il ritorno di Hyppolite a Bozoum

Monday, January 12, 2015


Chiesa di Santa Chiara, Cuneo

As for the last few days in Italy I felt very busy: meetings, greetings, celebrations. Finally on Monday I leave. With me there are other three people: Henry Massone ( a builder, coming to RCA since 1987 every year!), Alessio (builder himself, and Sister Beatrice a Clarissa nun.
In our travel back home we faced some delay, something unexpected, but we got well in Bangui. On Tuesday at 6.00 pm we were in our convent “Carmel”.
On Wednesday we went through meetings and meetings. The most beautiful it was the one with approximately twenty young people of UASCA (a small association that collects kids coming from the seminary at Yole, in Bouar, where I worked for ten years).
They wanted to see me in order to have information about the Award regarding “Human Rights” which I received in Madrid. I take this opportunity to encourage and stimulate them to think seriously  to become  able to make choices and act for the good of their Country.
At 5.30 am on Thursday we leave for Bozoum. 400 km of road are ahead of us, thankfully no surprises on sight. We reach Bossemptele. Here we visit Hyppolite, hospitalized because of a fracture and other health problems. He's well enough, and we hope he can recover soon.
Around noon we are in Bozoum, at the right moment when pupils leave school: a human river of children and young men and women, all of them screaming: "Aurelio, Aurelio, Aurelio".
At the Mission I find Fr. Enrico, Fr. Norberto, and the Nuns. In the afternoon of that same day we had a meeting in order to organize the Agricultural Fair, to be held in Bozoum from January 31 to February 1st.
Enrico and Alessio are put to work very soon. We have to remake the warehouses roofs to install solar panels. It’s a great project, which should allow us to have power 24 hours a day ending the use of generators.
Really many job sites in our Mission: school, parish, buildings, Agricultural Fair.
At this point: good job to all in Bozoum!

la mia parrocchia
ma Paroisse à Cuneo

Piazza Galimberti, Cuneo

Incontri dell'ultim'ora a Cuneo

Incontro con i giovani UASCA a Bangui

Hyppolite all'ospedale di Bossemptele

Enrico fotografa

Alessio e i primi contatti
les premiers contacts de Alessio

Inizo dei lavori a Bozoum
commencement des travaux à Bozoum

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Safe flight!       Tomorrow, Monday 5th, I finally leave for Central Africa!
After about one month spent in Italy (and around...) I’m ready to come back home, to Bozoum! There I’ll face very demanding months (when are they not demanding???): the Country difficult situation, the Agricultural Fair preparation, very important works to accomplish, the schools to follow and encourage, visits and  long travels and, above all, the people, people to work with and build something  beautiful and of value even in the midst of such a great destruction.
 I really wish to leave but I’m very happy of the time spent in Italy where I found a lot of welcoming and appreciation. I only hope not to disappoint anybody. How many old and new friends, many relatives, all of them encouraging me with words and attention, often with tangible help which, in difficult moment as it is at present, is even more precious and appreciated!
I’ll remember the meetings, the presentation of a new book (the Manual of Philosophy), the many celebrations at different parishes, with many communities of Nuns and Friars. Everything helped to make known a bit better this small part of the world (but still twice the size of Italy!!!) called Central Africa, and also to give hope to the heart. A big thank to my city, Cuneo, that in its very quiet way, stood by me and showed loving sharing of my missionary work.
I leave very happy because I know that many will be with me with their prayers, with their constant thoughts and with the exchange of information! THANKS to all!! Thank you too readers because in the different editions of this blog (Italian, French, English, Spanish, German and Czech) we had 105.000 hits! Also a big thanks to the translators: Fr. Juan Montenero for the Spanish, Ludmila and Martin for the Czech, Fr. Raffaele and Chiara for the English, Regina for the German.
Thanks to all!