19 August 2008

Why I Think the War is Over

By now I would suspect that most of you reading this note have heard of my most recent bout with typhoid. It would seem that the rumors are accurate and that I am once again trying to get a clear bill of health. The last time I had this filthy disease was right at the beginning of the war in Côte d'Ivoire after our evacuation from Korhogo. Now that I am down again might be a sign that the war is officially over! Of course it could also be a sign that I drank some dirty water or ingested some foul food. Chances are it is the later. Even so, we are hoping that the war is over as well!

Since we last sat down and wrote one of these things we have been to Benin and back where we helped with the installation of new guy wires on the 80 meter medium wave tower for Trans-World Radio. On that trip we spent a considerable amount of time on the side of the road with a broken down vehicle and in the end a fair wad of cash as well. Even so the trip was a success and we returned to Bouaké in good form.

However, because of the length of that trip due to vehicle problems we took the decision to pursue the purchase of another vehicle. This we did in April of this year. We purchased a Toyota Land Cruiser through an organization in Gibraltar who sells exclusively to missions and other NGO's working in Africa. Our vehicle was shipped directly from the factory in Japan and ready for pick-up the 18th of April. Yes, we traveled to Gibraltar and picked up our car in order to drive in back south to Côte d'Ivoire. We took about 3 weeks traveling the length of Morocco to Nouakchott, Mauritania and on to Dakar, Senegal. After a few days in Dakar we traveled on to Bamako, Mali and then south to Côte d'Ivoire. It was a very interesting trip full of surprises and not at all boring. We were glad to be home however, having seen more desert that we care to see for a while.

By the time we got home we had about 3 weeks to get ready for the first of a host of Short-Term teams. As well as ST's I had to finish with the course work at Bethel Bible Institute. I had about 6 weeks of work to squeeze into about 3 weeks of classes. It was a challenge and may have contributed to my current laid-up state.

As for the ST teams, our first installment came in the form of 5 individuals from Madras Conservative Baptist Church out of Oregon. Dana St. John led the team and did a superb job. We split the team during their stay so as profit the most from their passage. The three guys and I along with Nicodème, one of our local carpenters and his crew traveled to Tiongofolokaha and had the thrill of putting on the new church roof. We were able to finish the task in 3 days before returning to Bouaké and Abidjan for their return flight to the US.

During their stay we also had a visit from Jonathan Finley, a WorldVenture worker in Paris, France and two pastors from his home state of California. Jonathan was interested in exploring ways in which we could use multi- cultural teams coming from France and the US in our leadership training programs here in Côte d'Ivoire. It was a lot of fun being together and seeing the interaction. Needless to say though, our time spent with all these folks together took a lot of coordination and extra time, but highly worth the time.

By the time the Californians and the Madras team left we were just a little tired. It didn't matter though; I had another team coming in from Bamako on the 4th and so I high-tailed it back up to Korhogo to be there when they arrived. This team was from Houghton College and they were coming to help us roof the church in Kanoroba, south and west for Korhogo about 100 km. On the morning of the 5th with trailers loaded and team in tow, we traveled to Kanoroba. Upon arriving we began to set up for the work ahead. Once again, Nicodème and his crew were essential to the completion of the Kanoroba church roof. By Saturday night we had the roof on and that Sunday we had a fantastic time of praise in the newly roofed chapel. By Sunday evening we were back in Korhogo and by Wednesday the Houghton team was back in Bamako ready to return to the US.

I was able to get in a few more hours of classes with my students that week before retuning to Bouaké. On Friday Angelika and I traveled back to Abidjan again to pickup another ST'er from Atlanta, Georgia. This one came as a surprise and we were pleased that she stepped up even though she had wanted to be in Guinea. Courtney is a nursing student and is here for 4 weeks trying to see what nursing in this part of the world looks like. After retuning from Abidjan with Courtney on Saturday, I decided to travel the next day to Korhogo to finish the last of my classes. I was feeling a bit off as I took off Sunday morning. I made the trip without difficulty but arrived very tired. It was there that the end began.

2 comments:

Childlife said...

"It was a very interesting trip full of surprises and not at all boring"

I don't even want to try and read between the lines on that one -- bet it would make a decent sized novel! ;)

We're praying for your quick recovery, Rod, and hoping along with you that the war has come to an end.

~Ken and Shelly

jonathan said...

Salut Souliman,

I just now realized that you're blogging again... cool! that your blogging, not that you got typhoid again.. typhoid is not cool. sorry about that.

Happy to learn that you consider our time in CI with you worth the effort. We deeply appreciate your hospitality and service to us.

I've got an idea for a bilingual team in MAY or JUNE 2009... (I'll run it by you in an email soon)

I hope you're fully recovered and that the the wave of people I'm planning to bring your way makes you want to learn to surf .. ;)

amitiés !

jf