Easter has come, markets are selling chocolate and candy for the season (mainly from Switzerland, Germany and Austria). No idea which Easternest will survive the scorching sun out here, but it was interesting to see yet another imported heathen tradition from central Europe 😉 But some churches and followers did remember the more religious significance of Easter and joined in a march through the city.
Et moi, I just thought travelling a bit would be nice! The local UPF Secretary General suggested I accompany him to the ceremony of appointing new ambassadors for peace in the city of Gagnoa.
Having had work experience with UPF before, I gladly accepted and thought it’d be interesting to see how UPF Austria and UPF Cote d’Ivoire work differently… or not.
Having endured a whole day’s journey by bus, we arrived at our hotel in the late afternoon. Yeah… I did feel a bit uncomfortable with the place’s name. Nobody else seemed to get the unfortunate connotation: “It means ‘New House’! Hehe…”
Anyways, there was warm water, a good bed, AC, TV, and free wifi internet… never take that for granted!
Sunday we started the preparations for the ceremony. An “Ambassador for Peace” is a person who receives such title for being active and helpful in the local and wider community to achieve peace. It is honoring and further motivating those who are appointed.
The venue was the town hall of Gagnoa; sound, seats, food, everything arrived on time and was actually quite well organized. I just helped out with the electronics, as usual.
Looks quite bad, but that is normal for rural areas: DIY electrical plugs! They add fun and suspension to any event, especially when some cables for the projector melted. Luckily we had a fitting spare cable from a laptop.
More than 250 people attended the event, from both the government and private sector. Twelve new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed.
There was a short entertainment program, with a singer and a comedian group.
Speeches were made, certificates were given, the banquet was feasted upon… it was a good day.
We travelled back to Abidjan via Yamoussoukro, and paid my friend Roger a brief visit. It’s a must, that if you pass a village where you know someone, you better say “Hi!”
On entire highway between Yamoussoukro and Abidjan, round 250km, there is only one fuel station. So, the locals help each other out by opening their own fuel stations: Diesel in white glass bottles, Super in green ones, a gas container and some oil for the travelers.
Speeding past the misty tropical forest in the early morning hours.
The remainder of the holiday was spent in Abidjan, meeting friends, relaxing, reading. I got my ticket back to Europe (Munich is cheaper than Vienna) for July 5th.
So there are only around 2 months which I have left to spend in this beautiful place. School ends by June 20th, and I’m already making plans on what to do before leaving. 🙂