Greetings from the new volunteers at CF Gothia Sport school
This weekend a new semester started for the around 300 children that attend CF Gothia Sport school in Congo-Brazzaville. Swedes Nils and Sture are at the school as volunteers during this term and they recount about their first time in the country.
“It’s been a week and a half since we landed on Maya-Maya, which is the airport here in Brazzaville, and a lot has happened since then. After starting our journey from Stockholm on Saturday October 18, we reached Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, the following morning. Our first flight was slightly delayed, and we had no huge margins for the next, so we rushed off to the flight to Brazzaville. This proved to be difficult as a several hundred meter long queue for security control hindered our progress. But this was solved by the fact that inspectors called out flights that would soon depart, and let those who were going with them pass.
When we reached Maya-Maya, we were first welcomed by the humidity and heat, and after passing the passport control, also by the Swedish missionaries Carl and Anne Sundberg, and by our two managers – Hervé and Zico. From there, we went directly and obtained SIM cards and telephone credits, so that, in accordance with the spirit of the 21st century, we can stay connected during our stay in Brazzaville. Especially important when we have to report to those responsible at home, but also to be able to keep in touch with our loved ones.
To say that much is different here is not an understatement. From a tropical climate on one hand, to a new language – or several new languages – on the other hand. I, Nils, have already studied relatively much French, which has been of great use, but little does this help in situations when the French are mixed wild with elements of lingual and sometimes even kitouba, two other common languages in the region. Frustrating! We both hope that we will be able to intercept some of these languages during our time here, because languages are crucial to be included in this new culture.
The fact that it’s tough times in Brazzaville does not make it easy to come as a “Mundelé” or “white man” to the country. Many assume, but not all, that the fact that you’re white means that you’re rich, and that you therefore should pay more for yourself. As an example when we went on a bus the other day, the inspector thought we could pay 2000 CFA francs, equivalent to SEK 30, for a trip that normally costs 150 CFA francs, about SEK 2.
But for the most part, we meet people who are happy that you are here to experience the country and they’re interested in the project we’re part of at ”Center de Formation Gothia”. In later reports we will tell you more about what we experience at the school with the children, the other coaches and with Hervé and Zico.”
À la prochaine, Nils and Sture