A day or rest in Abidjan

Saturday, January 27, 2018
Abidjan, Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire
This Sabbath morning I was up at 7:30 so I could have breakfast and be ready to go at 9:00, which I was. I was prepared for a later departure, it’s often difficult to be on time with so many chaotic factors in play in Abidjan, and in fact Paul and a new driver, who introduced himself as Mr. Yao, arrived at 10:15. Yao sounded Asian to me, but he was local.
We drove to Paul’s house, a different one in the same compound where he lived before. The distance was not far as the crow flies, but the road is poor in places and the traffic dense and selfish, so we travelled as the bat flies rather than the crow, and it took an hour or more, almost as long as it takes to drive to La Mé. The reunion was joyous, we were very happy to see each other again. I saw that Elise, who was baptized three years ago, right at the time she gave birth to her son, has just had a daughter, a very calm and happy baby.
As soon as we arrived, I handed out our 2018 Church calendar (in French only) and I was happy to see their fascination and their joy in receiving it. They paged through transfixed until we were ready to start the service. Since we had arrived late, that almost immediately. We sang hymns and prayed, then I spoke for about an hour on what the bible says about of how to pray. Afterwards we sat and talked for a while, catching up on news. The young people in the group are all looking for work, which is difficult to find.
The ladies served lunch: chicken and onion with fries, as well as rice and the green viscous sauce that is so loved here, the texture of which has guaranteed it has never passed my lips.
They asked if I had any videos to show them, which I didn’t really. The members here always look forward to having a taste of the wider world, through my stories. They asked about my flights, and I remembers I had some photos they would find interesting. On my phone I showed them the deer I shot in December. They were surprised to see me in camo with a rifle. Then I found video on the phone of our daughters doing indoor sky-diving. Their expressions showed shocked amazement to see the women floating in the air and even flying up and down. How do people think of doing such things, they wondered.  I showed them photos of last summer’s trip to Moscow, and we discussed Russia, Mr. Putin, and the geopolitics therein associated.
The conversation when until about 4:00 pm when Paul suggested we should start back. He called Mr. Yao, asking him to come for us. He arrived about 20 minutes later, when we shook hands all around and wished everyone well. We gave Elise a ride to the bus station at the entry to Abidjan where she could catch a bus to her home in the Bingerville quarter. Back at the hotel we agreed to meet at 8:00 in the morning to start the trip to Man.  I was able to call my wife through Facetime, so we could catch up on our news. I had an early dinner and plan to go to bed early too.  


Mary Hendren

Thanks for describing a joyful Sabbath with pictures of the brethren. Nice to see Elise and Roxane again. It's obvious the calendars are popular. Some of your phone photos and videos must seem "out of this world" to everyone there!