Back to Abidjan

Sunday, March 01, 2020
Félix Houphouët Boigny International Airport, District Autonome d'Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire
This morning we were on the road by 07:00. Mornings in this region see hives of activity. Vehicles of all descriptions load and unload goods and people from near and far. We passed one motorcyclist carrying a stunning array of sacks full of baguettes - french bread. How he could steer I do not know.
We stopped first at the hotel where Paul and the driver were staying to pay the hotel bill. I had asked Séussié to text me the exact amounts of the two bills I would pay, so I could try to have exact change. As mentioned previously, merchants and business people often don’t feel any responsibility to have change for their clients, the client is often expected to have the change!
From that hotel we drove to the outskirts of Man to the hotel where the leadership group had stayed. I also had the exact amount for that hotel, so there were no delays over change. We were out and clear by 07:30 chugging back to Yamoussoukro where we arrived after 1:00 pm. 
We again had lunch at the Brise, and then we took Lee to see the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Paix (Our Lady of Peace) which was finished just before the Ivorian Civil War started.
It’s about the same height as Saint Peter’s in Rome and the cupolas are similar in dimensions. Certainly, it’s an impressive construction but I wonder what will become of it. Félix Houphouët-Boigny the first president of an independent Côte d’Ivoire moved the capital of the country from Abidjan to his home village of Yamoussoukro, and paid the USD 300,000,000 cost of the basilica out of his own personal fortune. But now political power has gravitated back to Abidjan, which makes sense. So what will happen to the magisterial presidential palace and this huge church? Will they crumble to useless hulks like so many other grandiose projects in the neighborhood?
As we left Yamoussoukro we passed about 15 men or boys who had been out hunting in the forest. They were holding up bush-meat for sale. Such meat is rarely if ever described as the particular animal, it’s just “bush-meat.” So we saw greater cane rats in abundance (a favorite among many around here), snake, monkey, and a few antelope. There may have been others I didn’t notice.
Then it was 200 km of four lane toll-road back to Abidjan where we arrived about 6:00 pm. As it is Sunday, traffic snarls were few. We drove through town to the airport zone where I had taken a hotel for the night since we will leave fairly early tomorrow morning. Our work is now done in Côte d’Ivoire for this trip, now we turn our gaze to Togo, which will be an easier place to work.

Comments

Mary
2020-03-03

Amazing contrasts of the imposing basilica, the men selling bushmeat, and the cyclist with bags of baguettes. It seems that your efforts in Ivory Coast were successful with the number of baptisms. We will pray about your safety and success in Togo.

2022-05-20