Travel news 3, November 2018

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Dear All

Here we sit on Sunday night and our modem will not connect. It’s bad because we have so much to tell.

Well, then you will have to wait until there’s a connection! We do hope it won’t be long.

We came to Bouar this Saturday. We left early from Bangui, already at 5.30am, Luc’s driver stood ready outside the door. We drove right behind Luc all the way and he made sure we didn’t have to stop and give our papers at the many checkpoints along the way.

Our new (older used) car drove like a dream, the road was as usual full of holes, but with our wide tires, a good driver and constantly folded hands, we arrived safely.

The last part of the road to Bouar, about 60 km, there is no asphalt. They are getting ready for it but have not started yet. However, the road did not have too many bad holes, so the drive was not too bad. It was dusty on the gravel road, so we were glad we could close the windows and ride in air conditioning.

We arrived in Bouar at 14.30 (2:30 pm). Pierre, our contractor, and Pedro our general handyman, had been here almost all day. They had made sure the house was cleaned and our things brought out to the house. We received loving welcome hugs and lots of conversation happened back and forth regarding both our and their families’ wellbeing, and then they went home so we could unpack in peace. It would be dark at 6pm and we had no power on the batteries. They should be charged by the solar cell, but it had of course been packed away since our last stay here. We ate a nice hot dinner thanks to the generosity of! It is so easy to boil water, pour it in the bag of dehydrated food and viola, you have a hot nutritious meal!

Well, we got most of the things put away, made our bed, and then there was no more power on our batteries.

Today we have recharged batteries and now there is light. We have also had a nice hot shower, it was a bit cold yesterday and anyway the purpose was just to wash off some of the dust!

Elysee, who came with us from Bangui, has slept up in the city. He is from here, so he is well known. He came around by mid-morning so that we can get started with all the things that need to happen in the next few days.

We had been promised that a team would come from the well drilling company to drill our well. But they have not yet left Bangui, so it will probably not be this week we will have water on the compound. Good Pedro can always find water for us. We hope they will arrive soon, Elysee is calling them often. Tomorrow we will visit the official hierarchy here in the city. The President of the Region (I think that is what you would call him) here he is called Prefet, the mayor, the police commissioner and who else may be helpful to become acquainted with. Elysee has also been writing letters to the various offices, where we must announce that we are now operational and who and how many people we intend to hire. This bureaucracy is probably what I’m most sorry about. All the paperwork and bureaucracy are a ploy to try and get money from us. We are asked to pay here and there, not so much, but it’s cumbersome and also unnecessary.We also hope to make it to meet up with our UN friends from Peru. They have promised to help fix our road to our compound and out to the municipal road. It will not be possible for the big heavy trucks with our containers to drive on our current road. Good we now have our own car and do not have to walk everywhere!

There is no time to get bored. And should we just have a moment, there are always some children who come sneaking to greet and see if there might be something they could ask for. Our empty plastic bottles from drinking water are especially sought after. Until we have water, we must buy drinking water, so we have a lot of them!

We have had some rain here this afternoon, which makes it rather cool. It has not been raining for many days and the rainy season is almost over. It’s both good and bad. Good because we can start making bricks for the walls of the center. Pierre is anxious to do a good job, so he has people ready to construct as soon as it’s dry enough.

A negative part of dry season is the wind. It brings dust everywhere, both inside and out. It’s not to be avoided and you can forget about keeping things clean, best you can do is cover up as good as possible all food and drink.

We haven’t taken any pictures, partly because it isn’t allowed in public places and partly because it rained today. I hope we are allowed to take pictures on some of the official offices tomorrow. It is huge that we are able to begin the very dream we have been chasing ever since we founded Heart for Africa. For Bent and I, it is even longer since. We are happy and grateful for all of you who have supported us and made this possible.

We are looking forward to sharing it with you!

– Bent and Vera

1 Comment

Mette Johnson · 06/11/2018 at 07:10

Så dejligt at høre fra jer! Isaac læste hele dette nyhedsbrev op til mig! Vi er spændt på om måske i vil kunne dele lidt billeder med os! Det er så spændende som det hele langsomt men sikkert bliver til noget!
Mange knus fra os fire her i Minnesota!

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