Dear friends, Wednesday,11.21.2018
We have had some busy days here in Bangui. It is never really possible to predict how the day will go before it’s over.
The well drilling company had promised us they would come again and possibly drill a new hole if we the one drilled didn’t produce enough water. Now we have been in their office twice, and they are of a different opinion. We have still not spoken to the chief executive, as he has been called to see the minister, but we are trying again today. We have also been to the office that represents Damco (container shipping company) regarding the containers. They are friendly and answer as well as they can, but our containers are still standing in Douala! Now we have heard from the Danish office that there are some problems. Now we need to contact them again to hear what it is about and try to find out where the error is. Yes, it is true the saying that in Africa everything will go wrong and yet, that you can’t even count on!!
Anyway, we have decided to take a day of sightseeing and wait to drive to Bouar until tomorrow. Casper, our 1st volunteer, arrived yesterday. We had to wait outside the airport while Elysee got him through the formalities. It may take time, but it is great that Elysee can help. Casper had two pieces of luggage along, one came fast while the other only came with the very last of the luggage. It’s easy to stand around while waiting, imagining that the other suitcase probably didn’t even make the flight and then what…. etc., etc. Well, as I mentioned about the above saying, you can’t count on everything going wrong, because the suitcase was on the plane and after an hour’s wait, Elysee and Casper came out to greet us.
It’s not because there is so much to see here in Bangui, but with a population of about 1.5 mill. it is a city in motion and there is plenty to experience. As I’ve said before, photography is not allowed, so it’s about emerging yourself with all your senses to get the full experience!
Bangui is by a large river where people have seen hippos and certainly crocodiles, and it has a lot of fish. It is also noteworthy, as you view the many the public buildings, most of them in sad decay, that the Parliament building stands out. It was built by the Chinese 10-15 years ago. Right next to it, they are building a bank with at least 10 floors. Otherwise, most buildings are old, many from the colonial era. Most of the major roads are paved, albeit with many holes, but the smaller roads in the city are dirt roads. Currently, much is being done to fill the holes in the roads, clean up, and paint the monuments. On December 1st it is national liberation day and their independence is celebrated every year. The children have been practicing for a long time, they have newly sewn outfits and fresh painted signs, each with their own school, work, or specialty organization logo. Everyone participates and marches through the cities. Ministers hold speeches and participate in the festivities.
Tomorrow we’ll be planning to drive back to Bouar. It’s a long trip, and we hope to leave before 6 am, so the city is not quite up and running with traffic and people on the road. It gives a good head start. They are anxiously awaiting us back in Bouar, Pedro and the chief have called several time, everything is ok, and they look forward to meeting Casper.
I also think Casper is excited to see for himself what we have talked about about for a long time. He will come back to Denmark with fresh impressions and pictures. I hope he will share his experiences with many.
We have still not gotten a solution to our IT problems, the options available are far too expensive for us. Good that our friend at the Cybercafe in Bouar is still ready to help.
Many warm greetings from us here in Bangui.