Roy and I went to the opening and dedication of the new city hall in “downtown” Gamboula on Wednesday, August 14th. The 14th is CAR’s actual day of declaring independence in 1958, and the independence was set into reality on December 1st, 1960. The celebration on Wednesday was interesting, to say the least, with all the heads of government, reps from many different sectors including a few Fulani leaders, and reps from the armed forces/police in attendance. We waited an hour for the sub-governor to arrive from his home 750 meters down the road. The UN soldiers arrived in their armored cars from their camp 500 meters down the road.
Appearances and show are very important in the celebrations here. A radio newsman was recording the whole shebang, and the background music was so loud we couldn’t understand how people could be near the loudspeakers.
There were speeches by the mayor and the sub-governor, actually full of thankfulness, and a nice meal.
Roy and I got a chance to visit with the head of the UN soldiers, thanking him for their presence in our town which makes it possible for us to stay. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard of any ruckus, and we are thankful for that. Please pray for peace to continue, and for integrity and justice to be in blossom in this newly dedicated city hall.