Friday, 30 September 2011

Things I have learnt in my first 2 weeks in Chad

1)  How to balance five 23kg suitcases onto one trolley which has such poor steering it could give a Tesco shopping trolley a run for its money, and then negotiate a busy, overcrowded and chaotic arrivals lounge in N’Djamena.
View outside the hospital

2) Chad has plants! Yes, I’ve arrived in the rainy season which means it’s not so dusty, bleak and barren as I’d feared. At least, not for now anyway. This does mean however that it is very humid, which leads me onto my next lesson…

My first Chadian Baby!
3) SWEAT!!! Oh my goodness I don’t think I’ve ever sweated this much. Not nice, but true! A constant sheen covers my body which either changes to rivers, or momentarily disappears for the first minute of getting out of the shower. This ever present reality has also been a fast lesson in the art of how to sit with 4 people in the back of a car in the sweltering heat and how to position yourself so as to avoid exchanging sweat and to aid air circulation- the answer? Get over it!

4) Hopital de Guinebor II is doing amazing work in such difficult conditions. I knew this before coming but being here and actually seeing it is so exciting. If a little daunting.

5) How to kill a chicken! Yes, I did it! One of my life’s aims completed. It was awful. Even resisting the temptation to name them didn’t help that much and the guilt took away the enjoyment of the final dish. Oh well, won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

On the way home from church
6) If the sticky stinky mud of the tracks surrounding the hospital and neighbouring areas is enough to stop a 4x4, my size 4 flip flop will be no problem- grip tight!

Picking legs and wings off Grasshoppers pre toasting
7)  Grasshoppers get everywhere, and I mean everywhere (one of the downfalls of wearing long skirts!!!). However, when they invade, there’s always an opportunity for retribution- a Chadian delicacy!

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