Sunday, December 19, 2010

First normal day ...

I woke up with a little bit of a sore head.  I could hear the rest of the family moving around in the house.  Got up to go & find breakfast, my normal sugared milk coffee and omelette.  Sat in my friend’s maquis whilst more people came past to welcome me back.  I showed them all the recyclable products I’d bought in Ghana with the intention of creating the same here as a partnership.  They were stunned at what was going on in the neighbouring country and the general concensus was that the same could be carried out here.  

I rang my friend to find out her husband had now said that due to my invitation to her to come with me, I had destabilized the family and that if I returned he’d kill me and it would be his wife’s fault & my blood would be on her hands.  As a 'patriot' if Cote d'Ivoire blows up then his family would go with it he told my friend who called in the hope of talking sense.  A bit of an overreaction I felt.

Lunch at the mayors was wonderful, I arrived with presents, the single malt whiskey went down very well. Talk was around the political situation, I then found messages on Facebook, which bizarrely can be accessed for free from the MTN network;  from friends telling me to get out of the country immediately.  With the situation as calm as it was, I wasn’t too worried, the Mayor said I’d be fine, that Gbagbo had given orders not to touch the hair of any French persons head (did that extend to the non-French too?!).  However the Nigerian Embassy were in the process of telling their nationals to evacuate, which had me wondering if I had lost the plot!

I also had an escape route organised via a village a few kilometres away a few friends promised to drive me to, from there apparently there are trucks that go over the border, although there aren’t any actual immigration formalities.  It would mean asking the gendarme here to stamp me out of the country & finding police in Ghana to accept me entering the country illegally.

We returned to the centre of town to talk further under the cocoa tree, a few ‘patriots’ turned up and got into a heated discussion which I kept well out of but they kept saying to me that I wasn’t to worry, I was still safe here.  However the main worry was the French army whether they would come here as they did during the crisis; I hoped not, it would cause a situation I really don’t want to become involved in.  I rang a journalist friend in Abidjan to alarmingly hear that his family had had death threats, they were in the process of moving ...

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