BootsnAll Travel Network

Stuck in Dibaya “Happy New Year!!!”

We arrived on the morning of the 31st, so we ran into a problem. Being Bonne Annee or Happy New Year, the transport guys were not working. We got up thanked the chief, and headed into the village to see about other transport and a place to stay. After walking for hours and trying to find someone, we ended up at a convent. The guy said he knew the nuns working there and that we could get food there. I started feeling a bit weird about this guy and all his freebies. I mean it was nice traveling for free, but it was a bit unsettling expecting all these people to take care of us. I would have preferred just going to a hotel and eating at a restaurant, but since this guy was being my guide I figured I would just shut up and follow him. After waiting for an hour for church services to end, the sisters came and gave us drinks and snacks. They agreed to cook for us if we went and bought the meat for the lunch. about this time things started to get to me. We were wandering around doing nothing, I had no place to stay, we were mooching on nuns, and there was no escape from this town. After stopping at the immigration office and having the guy pound me for a bribe and me telling him “no”, we headed out again to another friends house. Before we even got there we were stopped by even more people wanting to say hello and meet me (security chief, military, police, the guys friends,) it got to a point where I finally told the guy that I was done walking around doing nothing. I was going to find a hotel and then I was going to find a ride out of there. He told me he just had to stop at one more place, where I in turn just lost it and said screw that and took off with some guys who said they could find a room for me. It ended up taking a while as the first and nicest place there was no one there. By then fifty kids had gathered to stare at me and I started getting pissed. I finally told the guy to just take me to a hotel, any hotel, so he took me to Hotel Petite.

There was not a lot I can say about Hotel Petite, except that it was pretty rustic. It looked like one of those abandoned brick houses where the roof had caved in. It was obviously a love shack, but for $700fcs ($1.25US) it was a place to drop my bags. Unfortunately it was also where I picked up a nice rash of scabies. Got photos of that too.

Long story a bit shorter, there ended up being no transport as the few guys who had motorcycles did not want to make the three hour run (one way.) They all said the day after New Years. Shiiiiiiittttttt, I was stuck again.

I thought there would be some big activities with machine gun fire and people going crazy at midnight, but it was actually rather peaceful. There were some dances and a lot of get togethers, but the actual festive day was New Years day.

On New Years day, all the kids got to put on new clothes and they just wandered around being kids. In the market area they had music and all the kids played and danced around. It was just like the states where the girls hung around in packs and the guys hung out in their little gangs. The real enjoyable part was how nice they all looked in their brand spanking new dresses and little suits. We ended up hanging out at one of the moto guys house who agreed to take us for about half the price the other guys were asking.

That night we had a nice dinner prepared by the moto guys family (more mooching). That night at my hotel, the Chief of Security and his wife stopped by to drop off a bunch of food for me. There was no way I could eat anymore but I thanked them not wanting to be rude. They had a big pot of meat, a pot of nshima, a pot of rice, and a pot of vegetables. It was a lot of food. I ended up taking portions of each and putting them in a bag. It would make a good lunch meal for the next day. When I took back the pots to the Chiefs house, we ended up talking for a while and then they invited me to go along with them to their friends house for drinks. The place ended up being the really nice house where the guys had first tried to get me a room. They had a portable generator and the guy had a full electronics system inside. On the porch were about a hundred kids watching a dvd that the owner had brought out for them to watch. When I got there, the guy decided I was more important and drug the tv back inside where I and about ten of his friends were. The kids about revolted and I felt a bit bad. We watched a few videos one of which was about Matubo, one of the ex-presidents who ran the country into the ground. Knowing that I had an early morning, I finally excused myself and went back to the hotel.

Overall, it was a good New years day. Actually, not much different than in the states. That is one thing about the world, some things really are not that different.

Next up was the moto ride to Idiofa.

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