A trip to E.G.!

Road to EG village 2012

Road to EG village 2012

So we made our first trip to Equatorial Guinea recently (well, the first by car and the first since we moved to Africa). We had hoped to do so much sooner, but our car was delayed significantly and then we went home for a short furlough. Our purposes for the trip were (1) to learn the process for getting across the border (often complex in countries here), (2) to meet and encourage the Wycliffe team in E.G., (3) to support and encourage the people in the village our home church has been assisting. We spent a week there, driving from Yaoundé, our home city, to the city of Bata…so what was it like?
My first impression was how much things have changed since I was last there in 2008. The roads down were beautiful, like roads in the US – no potholes, constant roadwork going on, even sidewalks! Far different from what I am used to. It was also interesting how many people from other cultures are now there – we met numerous people from Middle Eastern and Asian countries. China was especially well represented, and most of the crews doing the roadwork seemed to be Chinese. There are now 3 grocery stores in Bata. Clean water and power were still in short supply, however.
We did get to meet and spend some time with the Wycliffe team there, what a great bunch of people! E.G. is the only country in Africa where Spanish is spoken, and the people on the team currently either come from or spent a lot of time in South America. There are now 3 linguists, 2 specializing in training Bible translators and 1 specializing in training literacy workers, and a couple coordinating their work that make up the team, with hopefully more on the way. Currently orthographies have been approved for 4 of the 9 ethnic groups of E.G. The team has been teaching translation principles, literacy principles and computer skills, as well as supporting existing literacy and translation programs.
We were also able to visit the village where our church has been working – more on that next time.
We drove back by ourselves…how do you manage 8 police checks and 4 customs/border stops when you don’t speak Spanish? You learn a little of the local language (VERY appreciated). So : Mbolo! (‘Greetings’ in the Fang language of E.G.)

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