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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Greetings, rice, schools


Greetings, rice, schools
Living in a Mission, living in Bozoum, means people coming and people leaving. The 12 young people of ONG “SIRIRI.ORG”, which arrived on Tuesday, August 15th, did their best to be ready for their work. Between Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th, everyone is busy preparing the great training session, together with 10 Central African teachers.
And Monday morning they are ready to begin the Session: there are 244 teachers coming from Bozoum and surrounding villages, but also from other cities: Bangui, Bossemptele, Baoro, Bouar, Ndim and Ngaundaye. They are all excited to learn and deepen the new "Learning with fun" method, which many have already used in the past school year (2016-17). It's nice and impressive to see the teachers taking part with passion, trying new things, like singing and playing: all this will be put into practice in many schools in the next school year.
Sunday afternoon we take the opportunity to visit the Bozoum rice fields. This year the fields are much more vast and well-farmed, simply because many have realized that rice can be sold, and can become source of income for the family.
On Sunday morning, at 8.30 am, we welcome Father Matteo Pesce, just arrived as a new member of our community of Bozoum. Presides over the Mass Father Enrico Redaelli, who will leave Bozoum after three years of work among the villages and the parish, mostly with our youth. It’s emotional and also a bit sad saying goodbye.
His departure is scheduled for Thursday, August 24th. It’s raining, so we decide to leave later, but it’s raining even more until noon. We leave at 1.30 pm, but after 15 km one of the two cars we travel with, stops. I go back to call the mechanic, who goes to fix it. He did fix the problem, but are already 4.00 pm. It’s too late to continue because there are 250 km of unsafe road ahead of us.
We retry on Friday, leaving at 5.30 am, and at 11.00 am we reach Bouar, where the whole community of St. Elia welcomes us with a little, simple and meaningful ceremony: singing we go towards the community church, where Father Enrico (new Superior and new Master of novices) entrusts his ministry to the intercession of the Saints of Carmel. “Saint Elia” is a young community. Are living there 4 Fathers, 3 Novices, 7 young guys who will begin the novitiate in a couple of weeks and 3 young postulants who are approaching the consecrated life.
As you see, many young people, and much hope. They are the future of the Country, of the Church and of the Carmel Order in Central Africa Republic.

Le risaie di Bozoum
une des rizières de Bozoum

Il mercato di Bozoum
la marché de Bozoum

Formazione insegnanti

P.Enrico à St Elie

Saturday, August 19, 2017


La statua della Madonna a Doussa
La statue de la Vierge à Doussa

After a quiet Sunday here at Bozoum, on Monday, August 14th, I’m again on the road with Father Daniel, the General Councilor, to take him to Bangui.
Tuesday morning August 15th in the Central Africa Church we too did celebrate the Assumption of Mary. I preside over the Mass in our Carmel convent, in which the congregation greets Father Matteo, who after four years spent here, leaves Bangui to come to live with us in Bozoum. In the afternoon I go to the airport to welcome the twelve SIRIRI volunteers from Prague, from Paris and from Nice to lead the teachers training as part of the "Teaching with fun" project. This year the teachers to be trained will be over 200. Because of the large number there will be five groups, under the direction of SIRIRI volunteers, but also by Bozoum teachers who have already attended the training and, above all, they have an opportunity to put it into practice by teaching this method, involving a lot of kids leading them to an excellent level of preparation, beginning from the very first classes.
On Wednesday we leave at 5.30 am with two cars. For the SIRIRI people it's all a surprise, and despite the bad shape of the roads, at 1.00 pm we reach Bozoum.
The next day I am already working with teacher-trainers in order to be ready for the great training session that will begin this Monday, lasting until Saturday August 26th.

P.Matteo saluta gli amici a Bangui

p.Matteo a Bozoum

Friday, August 11, 2017

Mud and rain

Mud and rain
On Saturday, August 5th, I went back to Bozoum after visiting St.Elie and Yolé, where I also brought the Fathers who came from Cameroon, and Father Daniel of Nigeria.
We are in the middle of the rainy season, and the roads are in very bad shape. On Sunday, at noon, Father Enrico calls me; he was stuck in the mud a couple of miles from Bozoum. On Wednesday, already 5 km close to Bozoum, I have to go back because the road is an impossible mess. The roads conditions are frequently a problem for our travels: sometimes you cannot leave or you have to choose much longer itineraries. Only over the last 10 days I have traveled more than 2,000 km because of this.
On Wednesday I go to Baoro, where Father Maurice begins his service as Superior of the Convent. On Thursday I continue towards Bouar for a meeting driving back to Baoro in the early afternoon, and then I continue my traveling towards Bozoum with Father Daniel. We are home around 7.00 pm.
In these days, Father Enrico gave life to a round table in the city for young people, and so on Thursday and Friday nearly 130 young people and adults did meet trying to analyze the present social situation in the Country proposing solutions while dreaming for some changes. Unfortunately, the situation in Central Africa Republic doesn’t improve. Just in these days there have been very violent attacks, with dozens of casualties some of them beheaded. Although this happens far enough from here, we are very worried because we don’t see any change ahead of us.

Foto di famiglia

Alla Yolé

Da sinistra: p.Stefano, p.Maurice, P.Daniel, p.Dieudonné e p.Aurelio appena dietro l'obiettivo)
De gauche à droite: p.Stefano, p.Maurice, p.Daniel, p.Dieudonné et p.Aurelio (tout juste derrière  l'appareil photo)

Ottimo esempio di come ci si può impantanare...
Comment s'enfoncer dans la boue...

Tavola rotonda dei giovani di Bozoum
Table ronde à Bozoum

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Fine formazione su Gestione Contabilità a Bozoum

During these two weeks I did travel a lot.  Mostly because I helped Friars of our Communities in their various residence changes and shifts as a result of Provincial Superior visit. But I needed to travel also because of the visits of Friars responsible in governing our Order. In the first half of August arrives here in Africa Father Daniel Ehigie Nigerian origin. He is one of the Councilors to the General Father, and he is the one who deals with our Order presence in Africa.  August 4th and 5th comes also Father Fausto, the Provincial of Milan, from which the Mission of Cameroon depends.
This is the reason why on Sunday, after having celebrated the two Masses, early afternoon I left driving towards Bouar. The direct road (110km) is blocked due to a truck, and I have to take the road through Bossemptele arriving at Bouar, after 250km and 5 long hours driving. I spend Monday at Bouar. In the evening I'm in Baoro, giving a ride to Father Stefano, who will be the new Pastor.
On Tuesday morning I leave Baoro, and just before 1.00pm I’m in Bangui. Here in the evening, coming from Zambia, arrives Father Daniel Ehigie. On Wednesdays we spend the day together, visiting the "Farm" of Carmel where is being planted coffee, meeting personally one by one the friars ending with a long conversation in the afternoon as a conclusion. At lunch time we take a break just for a pizza I did prepare, and that gives strength to our work.
On Thursday afternoon at 1.00pm we leave under a heavy rain. The road is long (450 km), and there are also 2 convoys of trucks driving one in the opposite direction of the other, but at 7.30pm we finally arrive at Bouar, in our convent Of St.Elia, which welcomes us with the many young religious which are present in order to follow a formation stage about St. John of the Cross, directed by Father Jean de Jean Baptiste (French and resident in Senegal). We meet there the fathers who came from Cameroon together with the Provincial Father Fausto: Father Marco Gazzoli and Father Jean Baptiste.
During these days we are going to discuss with them the collaboration that unites us which began a few years ago, exchanging experiences and personnel. Since 2013 their young people follow the Novitiate here, and since 2014 our Theology students study with them in Yaounde.

Formazione dei giovani a Bouar-St Elie

Saluti a Baoro

Trasloco di una boutique...
déplacement d'une boutique

Si pianta il caffé
On plante le café

Padri e studenti al Carmel, a Bangui, con p.Daniel Ehigie (1° sacedote a destra)