Bienvenue à Bangui
1. a low, vibrating, humming sound, as of bees, mosquitoes, or machinery.
2. a rumor, report, or the latest news
Bangui is definitely a town that buzzes. Every street is a cacophony of laughter, gossip, buses and animals. Gone are the mechanical noises of our beloved Gotham, New York City. They’ve been replaced with the sounds of a village 700,000 people strong. Laborers dig ditches, break stones, and grind metal. Policewomen in pressed knee length skirts scold taxis drivers with a terse “toot!” on the their whistle, and taxi drivers beep their horns to chastise the pedestrians. Babies cry, mothers comfort, and children play and sing and dance.
And then there’s the mosquitoes. Bangui definitely buzzes with mosquitoes. The unmistakable whine in your ear at night reminds you that you’ve come within 23 degrees of the equator, entering the tropics, and invading their home. You, human, are welcome to stay. But they will exact their pound of flesh, or perhaps a few pounds over the course of a lifetime.
There is also another buzz in Bangui. In contrast to the aforementioned two, its a pleasant noise. Visible on the street, on corners, doorsteps, storefronts, and in homes, are the happy preachers of the good news – Jehovah’s Witnesses carrying an iron-clad message of hope to people who desperately need it. Everyday we are confronted with the realities of impoverishment and man’s inhumanity to man. In fact, of all the places we’ve visited, I can confidently say that more than anywhere else these people need the Bible’s hope of a new heavens and a new earth.
In an effort to keep others abreast of what is going on in our little corner of the world, we’ll try to post brief messages on this weblog from time to time. To be sure, to the making of many blogs there is no end, and devotion to them is wearisome to the flesh. So please, don’t feel obligated to keep up with the goings-on in our lives. There won’t be a test when we come back for a visit. Nevertheless, if you find yourself asking, “I wonder how Joel and Jesenia are doing?”, you can find the answer . . . here.
Love to all,