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Friday, July 7, 2017

against the current

against the current
Once arrived, on Friday afternoon, at Bozoum, we stay at home on Saturday and Sunday enjoying the presence of Father Saverio our newly elected Provincial Superior.
On Sunday morning we celebrate the solemn Eucharist with Fr. Enrico and Fr. Saverio. After the Mass, the Women's Promotion Center "Cana" presents the work done by girls and women during this school year. The Center, supported by the friends of of Prague, gives the opportunity to about 40 women being able to attend educational courses, lasting 3 years, of childcare, sewing, embroidery, family economy, cooking...
In the afternoon, I leave with Father Saverio towards Bouar and Baoro, where we arrive around 6.00 pm, after covering about 180 km. On Monday, the Provincial meets the fathers of our community, while in the meantime I dedicate myself to put in place faucets and other fitting taps, to make the community's new kitchen operational, which we inaugurate with a well-deserved dish of homemade noodles.
In the afternoon we leave towards Bouar, to visit St. Elia’s Community. While leaving I receive a call from Bozoum, where are circulating voices of an imminent attack from Seleka, an armed group that rages in much of the country. As I follow the situation, I try to inform the UN Peace Makers to understand what they can do about. As we wait to see how the situation develops, we take the decision to send out of danger the Congolese Sisters. The next morning I and Father Norberto, leaving at 4.30 am, are driving back to Bozoum. We do not feel comfortable in leaving Father Enrico alone, as we do not want to abandon the people of Bozoum. We arrive at 7.30 am, and fortunately the armed men of the Seleka seem to have dispersed far from Bozoum about fifty miles, and for now the attack is avoided. Around 10 am I walk downtown. It’s an way to give kind of calm to the people. Seeing us the people regain confidence. At 1.00 pm we hear some shots. They are not the criminals of Seleka, but the antibalaka (young people in the city and surroundings): they attacked the police depriving the policemen of their weapons.
Wednesday, as the situation seems to be stable, I go back to Bouar with Father Enrico, because in the afternoon and the following day we have meetings with the other fathers of Mission Delegation. We enjoy emotional and wonderful moments of discussion, reflection sharing our experiences about the journey that the Carmel Order is doing in Central Africa.
Tomorrow morning, Friday July 7th, we leave with the Provincial towards Yaounde, Cameroon, where Father Saverio will end his pastoral visit.


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