Ubuntu eXplorer Journey team to Cote D'IvoireThe Ubuntu eXplorer Journey team to Cote D'Ivoire is the first USA-based team to Cote D'Ivoire since that episcopal area became a conference of the United Methodist Church following the General Conference ruling. Upon arrival, the Ubuntu team will have a briefing with Bishop Benjamin Boni and will be hosted by Valarie Aman, head of the Methodist Women's programs in Cote D'Ivoire.
Caroline Njuki, executive from the Africa office, and Jeanie Blankenbaker, Mission Volunteers Consultant, worked with the group during their orientation and training held in New York City on August 3, 2006.
She advised the group to be themselves, to expect some amount of cultural shock since they would be in a new environment, and to be aware of their stress level.
As to what to wear in Cote D'Ivoire, Dr. Njuki remarked that because of the French influence there, it has an urban look and feel.
Their sisters in Cote D'Ivoire were waiting for them with much anticipation and had gone to great lengths to prepare for them.
The Women's Division of the church is very involved with the people displaced by war, especially young women and children.
Cara Weiler, Team leader
Abidjan, the largest city, was not affected by the war other than an increase in population due to displacement. Security is not a problem.
Ms. Blankenbaker shared the significance of this particular Ubuntu Journey, its role with the Women's Division, and issues relating to interpretation upon return to the U.S.