BELLTRON’S ADVENTURE IN CAMEROON
Date: October 17, 2013
The Church of Christ the King and the Church of Tigaza are in Bertoua, a city with 150,000 inhabitants, 340 km east of Yaoundé.
Last September our technical service man, Angelo, went to both these parishes to carry out installations. Don Bruno, an Italian priest was there to welcome him. The trip, along with the stay and work load in the area was all quite risky but Angelo with his thirty year long know-how as well as his past experience in Benin managed to carry out the installations perfectly.
Although when he left Italy he had three suitcases full of equipment to fulfil the job, he still had to find some missing items locally and this caused him some difficulties. Owing to the poor road maintenance and heavy traffic, it takes time to move around the city of Bertoua.
It took him nearly a day of searching through the various local shops to find the necessary long enough cables and proceed with the installation of the equipment.
Furthermore, it was considered essential to have a current generator at hand to ensure continuity of the work during the day. In fact, the electricity in Bertoua is available only at determined times of the day and this can cause a lack of continuity of work for those who use electricity to carry out welding, tests, connect cables, try out machines, analyse acoustics by PC, etc.
Thanks to the gifted and collaborative help of Don Bruno, a disused generator was found in a small medical centre. Our technician, with his extraordinary skill, managed to fix it and make use of it.
However, it took a few days to find materials such as cables for connections, a generator to be used in case of black out and local workers. Nevertheless, the work in the two churches and in the parish hall was completed and the audio systems and the electronic bell were installed with success.
The assignment which our technician had to accomplish in this mission was not without fear for his safety. The social-political situation in this area makes it a fertile ground for banditry ("coupeurs de routes"), which occur mainly along the border areas with Chad and the Central African Republic.
The capability of the Belltron technician was to proceed in a quick but careful manner, even though the working conditions were cumbersome, the results were good. Don Bruno writes:
I am truly grateful to all of you for your contribution to realising the sound system in my church, Christ the King, in Bertoua.
The installation was skilfully carried out by Angelo with whom we made good friends and I thank him heartily. The local people are amazed by the novelty and the excellent result. We had an old system where some speakers were not working anymore and the 35 W amplifier had broken down, so I used a rechargeable radio amplifier that did not give good results since our church is very large: in fact we have installed 10 speakers. With the material I had brought from Italy when I organised a container shipment and using your amplifier and microphones, an outstanding job has now been achieved.
My thanks also go to the Tigaza parish, which is close to our own, where we managed to realise a sound system in the church using the material I had here along with the items that Angelo had brought with him. Even these parishioners did not believe that they could install a sound system in a such a short amount of time and with such good results in their church. Angelo was really wonderful. We also realised a sound system using two speakers in a meeting room obtaining good results too.
I truly thank all those who helped me accomplish these installations: the Belltron company, Angelo Capriotti and Genna Castrenze who acted as mediator for all this to come true.
May the Lord bless each of you, your families and your work.
As for me, I am a priest of the Diocese of Milan, 69 years old, a native of Bergamo. I have been in Cameroon for 17 years, with an interval in Italy of 5 years as the pastor of Capriano and Fornaci church. It was there that I met Mr. Genna, who has helped me to realise the sound systems in my two churches.
I am currently in a parish in the town of Bertoua, one time the cathedral, in the southeast region of Cameroon. There are 14 parishes in this city and the bishop made me Episcopal Vicar for coordinating the overall pastoral organisation of the city. We are situated in a forest area and, even though the city, capital of the East which has 150,000 inhabitants, has managed to find a room for quite modern African style structures.
I'm happy with my work here in Africa which is always plentiful and even though my health is good, thank God, I still feel a little tired sometimes.
My "work contract" should end in three years time, then I will see what to do, but I think the African dream will still keep me here.
Not far from here, on the outskirts of the capital Yaounde, I am realising a large hospital with a local NGO and with help from Italy. Angelo was able to see the work. It is a large building which will house a modern health service with equipment which can also be used in the future. We are hoping to then create a partnership with Italian doctors from various hospitals and universities. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions of creating such a big project, so pleasing and functional for the locals who truly deserve all this, our economic means are lacking and we are now having difficulties in completing the project (we are now just half way through).
The hospital is called "Providence" so we will not despair and we believe that the work will begin again soon. Here is a blog that my niece prepared for me where you can follow the events of the hospital and my missionary life: www.donbrunovitari.blogspot.it.
That’s the end of my talk. I wish to thank you all for your cooperation.
I wish you well and I greet you heartily.
Don Bruno, a missionary in Cameroon
In conclusion, we wish Don Bruno good luck for his work over the years in this difficult environment and who perseveres with conviction in carrying out his work for the people in Cameroon, by carrying out his duties as a pastor and for the construction of an important hospital called "Providence."