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Today’s Africa Report: Shopping for the Trip

Feb 17, 2005

GBIM board member Miriam Pacheco, in the Central African Republic for six weeks to assist missionary Barb Wooler with orphan and Pygmy ministries, is sending occasional reports. Here are exceprts from one received today:

The sun is breaking through the haze a little more today so it looks like it will be a bit warmer. But we’ll be traveling just a short distance today so it won’t be too bad.

We’ll leave just after lunch and travel a couple hours to M’baiki, the last big town we go through before going into the forest. There is a district conference going on there so we will attend that this evening and tomorrow morning. We may be tenting for the night, which is fine with me, or we may be invited to sleep in an African home. That will be a unique experience.

When we get to the forest we’ll be able to set up the satellite phone and itty-bitty little computer, both powered by a solar battery, and send some e-mail! From the middle of the rain forest!! What will they think of next?!?!

We did some shopping yesterday for our trip and the stores are quite well-stocked. There seems to be a sense of anticipation ~ there are lots of places being painted and fixed up, and there’s a nifty stoplight installed at the intersection just above the mission. It’s near the Catholic church and on the route that most visitors take from the airport into town. It
even has walk/don’t walk symbols that light up. That is major progress here. And most of the vehicles and pedestrians that I’ve seen obey the light. That’s progress, too. 🙂

The election coming up on March 13th may have something to do with all of this, but it could also be partly because the French community here is growing and a lot of the businesses may be owned or run by them.