I suppose the moral of this story should be that, even if you “make friends” with certain local officials, and ply them with money and favors, that it really does nothing for you. Ha!
Though, thankfully, our “extortive” friend the official, Papa B, has stopped coming by the house every day, he’s found no end to tricksy maneuvers to pry money from our tight, non-profit fingers.
During our problems with Mr. Moibi, he claimed to be participating as our advocate, trying to protect us. But really, it seemed more like he was trying to get a cut of whatever taxes Mr. Moibi could garner.
It didn’t help either that Papa B moved his office right next to the café. Every time since when we’ve gone for a cold soda (a real treat we only give ourselves once in a while) -- he’s come out and insisted that he be included in our revelry. I did manage to convince him, however, that if we’re drinking soda, he is NOT drinking beer.
Unfortunately, it is he too who is responsible for our plane trip out. At a cost that he claims is EIGHTY DOLLARS. That’s for the PERMISSION to land a plane here. How exactly that figures, I have no idea.
He’s agreed to reduce it by half (still an exorbitant fee in my opinion), which just cuts down on the money we have left to live on all the more.
To add insult to injury, he sent two guys -- maybe 16 or 17 years old -- to the house today with a little handwritten note to Polycarpe. It basically said, “Hey, friend! I’m hungry! Send me 300FC! I’m here waiting for it.”
Polycarpe was as disgusted as we were -- and wrote him back on the note “I don’t have any money to give you, Thanks.”
I’m hoping our refusal to cow to his ridiculous (and continual) demands for cash won’t influence our ability to leave tomorrow. He’s said he was going to protect us from problems tomorrow, but I honestly don’t believe it for a MINUTE.
Ugh! Please let this be the last hurdle!