Dear everyone, Sunday evening
Today we have had a relatively relaxed day, at least compared to yesterday. Yesterday we had several things we needed to try to find and buy at a price we thought was acceptable. There are always many things in the small shops and a brand new “super market” has also opened, with everything you’d want, if you have a lot of money. Even whipping cream. Bent is pleased that we can now look forward to rice ala’mande (Danish Christmas rice pudding) for Christmas. We will though have to forego the pork roast as this supermarket is owned by one of the Muslims who have immigrated to the city. They are gradually coming back and taking over the trade in the city.
Today we have been to church in the area where Elysee lives. It’s about 13 km from the city center. He has helped start a new church. They have not had the money to build much, it is just a foundation and a roof structure. They have put used tin roofing tiles on. There are many holes, so good it did not rain. There are also no walls, but they have set up tarpaulins all the way around. They have nice benches and we got the best plastic chairs available.
To get to Elysee’s church, we drove out to Luc’s house, who lives out by the road, just off the 12 km mark. There is no road for cars to travel on to get to where the church is. We parked at Luc’s and walked a couple of miles between the houses. When we arrived at the church there were a lot of children and young people singing. It was just passed 9, and Elysee had mentioned that at their church they started on time. We were welcomed by Elysee and directed the sit up front.
Eventually more people arrived, and the actual service could begin. Well into the announcements, we, as well as many others who were visiting, were asked to present ourselves. There were many in church whom we knew from our time as missionaries years ago. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. We went back to Luc’s house where we had a little to eat and drink.
Back here with the Catholic sisters (hostel), we had dinner and after a little break and some coffee, we went for a souvenir shopping trip. We hope we can send some Christmas presents with Casper when he returns home. Also there, there were several who remembered us from our time as missionaries, some of the old Hausa people. Many had been persecuted and had escaped during the unrest, but now they are coming back. However, it is not the fine quality that used to characterize their craftmanship, but we help keep things going. It is a lengthy process of much negotiating and talking before we can find a price that both parties are satisfied with.
Here it is very hot and humid. There is a large river that runs right by the city which adds to the very high humidity and it had also rained just before we arrived. In Bouar we have not seen a drop of rain. We drink a lot of water but need to always be careful that we not drink too much to upset our salt balance(electrolytes).
Tomorrow we will work on some of the things we could not do over the weekend. weekend. Among other things, we will need to speak to the company that is responsible for the customs clearance of our containers and find out where they are. We hope they will arrive the same time we get back to Bouar on Wednesday. We also must contact the well drilling company. They promised to come back, but when?
We also want to find out if there is a way for better internet connection for us in Bouar. We have received an offer, but it is very expensive, so now we try somewhere else. I’m afraid we cannot find anything at a price we can afford. Elysee is in the process of making a folder with a copy of our last report. That’s what they want in Bouar, there’s no way that they can share, so we’re once again cutting down yet another forest with our paper consumption.
If we can find the time, we will try to get a driver’s license, but we did get a temporary one in Bouar that is good for 3 months. So maybe it will wait until the next time we come back here.
There are several things we need Elysee to get started, so he’s busy too. Maybe he will also have to return to Bouar if something arises that only he can work out with the containers.
Now I will get Bent to find a few more pictures. Thank you to those of you who have sent greetings on the website. It is so nice to hear from you and to know that you follow us in our newsletters.
Many warm and loving greetings
Bent and Vera