Sunday, September 28, 2014

9/28 - Running Friend, Tiny Boutique, Witness to Accident

Another baptism in Bonaberi: a mature man named Baket Daniel.
President Ngeuti & Baket Daniel

As I was running home from the post office on Tuesday I met a group of 16 guards running in formation so I joined in.  They handed me a 2’x2” dowel to carry high over my head.  They chanted cadence which included the phrase “Nous sommes des commandos” (we are commandos).  After about 5 miles of a very slow run, they stopped to do exercises and combat training for a couple of hours.  I got quite sore and a bit sunburned, but I made friends with Donald and he came with us to church.
Donald, my running friend

Frère Nana found some buildings that are available that might meet our needs for a new meetinghouse so we went looking at them with him.  One was down a muddy road and would be condemned in the US.  The other two were 4 stories tall and in good shape, so I sent off the info to the Church.
Building for rent on a muddy road (no thanks)

The same road looking the other way

While we were looking at the first building I heard tires screeching and looked in time to see a man’s body flying through the air about 40 feet from us.  He was crossing the street and stepped off the median right in front of a car.  His head smashed the windshield.  I went to see if I could help, but he appeared to be dead and a crowd quickly gathered so we left.  We are supposed to avoid crowds for safety reasons.  Frère Nana said that he knew the number for an ambulance but he said in this case people would just give him first aid then put him in a taxi and take him to the hospital.  There is no 911 service and very few ambulances.  When we passed again 20 minutes later the body was gone and a policeman was talking to someone in the crowd.  Every so often I find myself feeling complacent about driving, but then along comes another reminder that traffic is dangerous here and I need an abundance of caution.
Crowd at scene of accident

After looking at buildings we dropped in on an investigator, Pascal, and his brother, Eugene.  Pascal is an auto mechanic and we had a nice chat.
The road to Pascal's house

There is a church member here named Richard who is stranded due to fighting in his country, Ivory Coast.  He escaped the war but ended up in Cameroon with no papers.  His “wife” and daughter are in South Africa and he asked me to send missionaries to teach them the gospel.  After several emails I finally got a message to their mission and the missionaries called her.  She called him to ask about it and he was ecstatic!  He is sure that she will join the Church and they will be sealed in the temple.  He said that he will be forever grateful to me.

We helped a young branch member, Marianne, transport her equipment to the marché to set up a nail & facial salon.  She has a tiny boutique less than 7x5 feet but in a good location with a good sign.  It is exciting to see someone get a business off the ground.
Installing Marianne's Sign

Tiny Salon

But when we got back to our truck someone showed us that two tires were nearly flat.  Someone had loosened the valve stems.  So, we didn’t give a tip to the guy who said that he was guarding our car.  He told us that a policeman did it.  A group gathered and someone used toothpicks to tighten the valve stems.  Then we drove slowly to a gas station for air.  The branch member said that he thinks they were trying to pull some kind of scam.  That kind of shook our faith in the idea that people won’t do evil when lots of others are watching.  That was a very busy intersection.
Marianne's brother loves being strapped on Mom's back

Taxis take a lot of abuse but keep going

Elders Rakotondrabeharison & Waite with branch members

1 comment:

  1. So much going on! I'm sorry for the man who was hit by a car, and that your tires got deflated, but I'm glad for the branch members with the new salon and the wife investigating! Also for Baket Daniel's baptism! Dad's so cool to join in a five-mile run with those guards!