Friday, September 12, 2008

First Trip Back to Zabré

I really hate getting up while it’s still dark outside. I’m a night owl, so I don’t mind staying up till all hours, but I really hate getting up so early in the morning. However, that’s what I had to do yesterday in order to get down to Zabré, visit with Pastor Emmanuel and family, do what we had to do there, and then get home again before midnight.

After a quick coffee to get us going upon getting up so early, we headed to the outskirts of Ouaga and picked up Hamadou, who was waiting for us at the beginning of the road to Pô. Right before the tollgate a few kilometers further on, we stopped to buy some bread (baguettes) from roadside vendors in order to give to Pastor Emmanuel and family. City-made bread is a real treat for those living in small towns, villages, and the countryside.

The 100 km after the tollgate was covered in just over an hour. The Pô road is a good paved road, as is the turnoff to Manga… at least until you get to Manga. Then it turns into a gravel road that is absolutely pitted with potholes due to the heavy rains this year. The 75 kms from Manga to Zabré took us 3 hours to traverse, much of the time in first and second gears. It was awful!

But the reunion with Pastor Emmanuel and his family after 3 years of absence was worth it! How good it was to see these folks again! And how the children had grown! Wow!

After our joyous reunion, we were led into his humble abode for a cup of Nescafé and to catch up on all the latest news and developments. When we moved out under the tree later on, Pastor Emmanuel showed us the well and latrine we had given him funds to build during our absence.

And then it was down to business. With Hamadou reading everything out loud, we discussed the draft papers he and Pastor Emmanuel had prepared for the founding of the Association for the Development of the Kusassi People. Kathy & I were very impressed by what they had written. They had truly grasped the idea of having the Kusassi people in charge of their own language development and translation work.

After much discussion and a few revisions (and lunch), we all prayed together and hastened to be on our way again. Night would fall soon (at 6 p.m.) and we had planned to be on the road several hours already. Another fatiguing 3-hour trip over Pothole Road found us back in Manga, where we dropped off Hamadou for the time being. Kathy & I continued on to Ouaga in pitch dark. Night driving in Burkina is very stressful and fatiguing due to the fact that at any time you can come across animals, pedestrians, bicycles, motos, and donkey carts on the road. Sometimes the cars and trucks don’t even have taillights or running lights, so the chances of an accident go way up. Thank God we got home safely, although it was nearly 10 p.m. at this point. By then, we were really ready to hit the hay.

All in all, it was a great day.

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