Waking up at 4.30am wasn’t ideal, I was woken by what I thought was shooting, loud bangs of metal ... I couldn't hear my hosts moving, nor the children; I lay in bed wondering what was going on outside then I finally dozed off again. Getting up I realised to my stupidity, the 'shooting' was the avocadoes falling on the roof of the house!!!
I met my ‘little brother’ who has cerebral palsy, he came with me for breakfast then I took him to the barbers as his hair was getting too long & told the barber to do whatever he felt was right. Attito turned up 30minutes later with a shaved head looking very proud of himself whilst we all told him he was the most handsome man in the town!
E who will head up C.R.E.E.R arrived at midday finally, another big welcoming hug. My host was a saint, he had ridden his motorbike 12km to the nearest town to pick E up, who’d spent 2 days trying to get out of Abidjan. It was his first time to come to this town where he will be living in the future, he was amazed to discover that he had a friend here from his university days. We sat and talked for a while then showed him around town, to find he had another university friend living here, so he was in good company and really likes the environment here. I was concerned about bringing him here, he’s Baoule by ethnicity, whilst the region is Agni; Baoule’s are accepted by the Agni, there are a few here already but even so during such a difficult period I didn’t want to cause a problem. However he made a new Agni friend immediately who then offered to give him a bed for his stay here.
We talked at length about how to re-approach the mayor, then brought in my host who works at the Mairie & is very diplomatic. He had to go up to the Mayor’s house and rang him in advance to ask if E & I could go up too. We spent an hour or so discussing the situation and telling a girl who ‘hates the whites’ how the situation had got to this stage and that it wasn’t the fault of the whites; more that laws had been created in the past and not been adhered to during the election process. As a lawyer he’s well versed in it and was impressive in the way he explained it all.
During this conversation we then got word from Abidjan that Bedie (the 3rd candidate during the 1st round of elections) was going to make an announcement that this time, unlike the previous two elections when he accepted defeat he kept quiet. But this time he was going to speak to the nation to resolve the situation. Ouattara is President and that Gbagbo must accept defeat. We are all now awaiting what will happen next, will the rest of the country accept this? Certainly in this neck of the woods which is strongly pro-Bedie, they will I feel.
We left his house to be invited to dinner by his elder brother, gorgeous meal, lots of conversation & serious ‘heat’ to the point that we all finished quickly to get outside & feel a little breeze prior to retiring for the night; it was stifling hot!