21-Mar-2006 -- After a full day of travel and work, David Wood, Kerry Spencer, and Pastor Denis Dakuyo left the village of Babousso around 4:15 p.m. At that point, we were about 4 km north of confluence point 10N 4W but we didn't feel comfortable walking directly through their living space to reach the point. We instead drove off a few kilometers and parked next to a cashew field, hoping that we would have a clear walk over to the point. Filling the water jugs and making sure we had batteries and flashlights, we took off from the truck at 4:39 p.m. for the 7.1 km hike.
Unfortunately, within just a few minutes of walking, we came to the edge of the cashew field and a quick look at the GPS confirmed we would be getting to the point right at sunset based on the rate of speed we were walking (at that point, averaging about 5.5 km per hour). Not stopping to look for an alternative path, we took the most direct walk to the point. That walk took us through a vast field of waist-high grass (oh, so afraid of snakes!) as well as a few other cashew fields. The last kilometer or so was through an area where there had been a controlled burn in the recent past. It was still smoldering, but was safe enough to walk through. The soot, though, certainly made a mess of the socks, shoes and pants!
We were greeted with a beautiful sunset as we located the confluence point halfway up a rocky hill (1180 ft/360 m). We took a few pictures of the area and began our return. By the time we made it down the hill and across the burned field, it was getting rather dark. We found a path and decided to follow it, thinking we might be able to walk on it almost to the village of Babousso and then cut off through to the south to the truck. However, after just a few hundred meters, we came crashing through the woods next to a "compound" where an elderly lady was cooking food. Although we greeted her in Jula, we were fearful she would die from a heart attack (I doubt in her lifetime that she had ever seen two white-skinned people walking near her house from the depths of the woods after dark).
We decided it would be better to make our way directly to the truck rather than risking another chance encounter with a family. It took us a couple of hours to make it all the way back to the truck, having run directly into trees, stepping into holes, ripping a shirt completely into shreds and kicking numerous rocks along the way. It was an adventure for sure!