My Memory Story :
Chapter I'S: The arrival to Libreville
In this fine afternoon of June 20th, 1975, the airplane in Paris origin and bound for Libreville presents itself on the landing track of the international airport. After some minutes the flight of the company U. T. HAS. immobilizes itself at last. That's so good, we are in Africa.
My heart vibrates to the idea that I am at last in this country that so far was only dream and readings. This Africa presented in the books or the reportages that we were going to discover? So far all similar east. In fact an airplane interior to Paris or to Libreville remains an airplane interior.
The door opens. All around me the faces relax, see even smile. Some will review their families, their friends, of others came only for matters or for the work, at last certain persons come for the first time and all these emotions, these joys, read themselves on these tens of faces. The fleeting ones direct themselves now towards the door. They go out gently, too gently to my taste. My impatience grew and as compared itself the retrouvailles with my father, the expectation became indefensible;
- " But do you dispatch see! " Me do I say without realizing me that this attentiveness is typically parisian.
At last we here at the level of the door. a devoured one of heat invades us. I have even evil to breathe and returning me on my mother and my young brother, I notice myself that they test the same sensations. We had just passed air-conditioned air of the device to a temperature of about 30° with a heavy and heavy atmosphere. Not any doubt this time, we are not more in France.
My mother, my brother and myself have not more than an idea in head: to try to see my father among this colorful crowd that presses itself on the terrace of the airport. Difficult to see if the hand of my father shakes himself, no really I done not see it. We direct ourselves now towards the customs and all its formalities. A line forms itself. The inspectors of the customs check meticulous the passports and the health notebooks slowly, very slowly. I would learn later than in Africa the time does not flow itself same manner and than it is necessary to leave the time to the time, here one does not panic. I begin lose patience me.
A 1/2 hour passes, at last our turn comes. But that done I see there low, behind the windows, but yes this is well him! My mother, despite the fatigue of the trip and gap schedule, smiles at full cheeks doing some for him big signs of the hand. The end of the customs formalities puts same blow a term to the separation of a family, separation that had lasted 3 month.
My Father already a " adopted gabonais" by his attitude relaxed, it tanned and that puts emphasis on his already graying beard and its clear eyes.
After the meet again, my father directs us towards the rolling rug in order to recover our suitcases. While awaiting the check of our luggage by the service agent, we smile at the élucubrations of a fleeting unlucky one. In fact, not finding more the keys of his suitcase, it tries, in vain, to open it to the assistance of clumsy holds of karaté. It is necessary to see it to inflate his chest while saying that it is black belt. When his hand cut down itself on the suitcase the only result was a painful hand. To the end of five minutes, the customs officer, exceeded, accepts to leave it to pass. After these formalities my father takes some one of the luggage and we take towards the exit where we await friends, members of the family of our neighbors of Montereau in Seine and Marls. I do therefore the knowledge of John christophe that is not other that the cousin of my better childhood friends, Oliver.
A time in the car I learns that we will pass the first one harms at their place and that tomorrow only we will be able to go in our new house, in the neighborhood Lalala. John christopher lived since already some times to Libreville and had a perfect knowledge of the places despite his young one act. It essaya to put us in confidence while explaining us the life to the Gabon. While traversing the some kilometers separating the airport of the center city, we follow the ocean and its magnificent beaches. Surprise by a big quantity of trunk of trees on the beach. John-christopher explains me that it originate wood convoys passing a little more far and of which certain trunks detach themselves to come to fail itself here. And our new friend to describe us and explain this that we see. Has left, the market, behind this is the stadium and there to right a pharmacy, there I really requested myself if it did not mock itself any us, but good it seems rather likable and I do not raise.
While we roll, our guide continues to describe the places. While passing in front of the Presidential palace, I do not know again that some weeks later, this place will be the theater of a picturesque anecdote between Mister the President Bongo and my father, but this is another history.
That evening, I had really all pain them world to find sleep, and my night was filled with colored dreams.
This is the end of my first day in Africa.
Chapter II: the neighborhood Lalala
The day raises itself on Libreville endormie and the sun floods the city of its already hot rays.
After a copious breakfast on the terrace of our friends, the moment came for us to return us in the neighborhood Lalala in order to move in our new dwelling of which let not us know us nothing.
Big are our curiosity and our impatience traverse Us by car a street series in earth beaten more dented the a than the others. The put alentour do themselves progressively rarer, before we resulted in front of an open gate. I look at all around me while descending car and I already think to the wonderful moments that we will be able to pass here...
This property is composed of 4 put: 3 in " hard" and one traditional, in torchis.
Sudden, a man of a group of around fifty years sort of the second villa. When my father advances himself for him to squeeze the hand, I understands that it is a matter Mister Lambert, the owner of the places. After some minutes of discussion, it gives us the keys of our new abode.
This is a house " to the European one", rather big and of full foot. Since our arrival my attention is attracted by the windows. The one here are replaced by of strange lamelles of glasses. My father explains me that that itself call of the " nacos" and that here all the windows are thus. The interior is temperate with the strict minimum some furnish, this that gives to the pieces an immensity effect.
When all of a sudden this is to the turn of my brother to take aback itself and to request the paternal one: " Says dad, where the switches? ...et them plug" and my father of him to reply: " You know
Christopher, we are in Africa, and it is necessary for us to learn to live some times without electricity! " Effectively the light will be furnished us by a lamp to oil, precious liquid that will equally be used for the refrigerator. In the afternoon, I make the acquaintance son of the owner:
M'ba-jean. It is 11 years old, as me, and we become quickly friends. To the program of the day: visits guided
surroundings. M'ba-jean presents us, Christopher and me, to his grandmother, that
The time passes with every day again discoveries. I do not know if this is the Africa that tames me or the inverse one, but I myself direction more and more to the comfort in this Gabon to the thousand colors. My brother, M'ba-jean and me not some finish to play with the things more simple of the world such as four wood bouts and a string...
Despite the nostalgia of the left buddies in France, to seven thousand kilometers of here, this new life filled my thirst of adventures. And God knows that we needed to live thousand and a things to attempt to do us to forget the sadness that had preceded of some months our departure. In fact 4 month earlier the one of my brothers, Didier had succumbed to a cardiac crisis to the is a question of 18 years. Him that was if weakened by his asthme and its clean to repetitions will not have had the time to know his life of adult. Well that 27 years after there is not a day or I do not think of him, I must recognize that this departure to the antipodes of France was without protests the better one therapies.