|A not so old camel|
Art in Bardai has been around for a long time, 5-10 thousands of years in fact. Pictures of elephants ostriches and panthers together with their hunters are found all over the rocks near the town. Not quite so old, but equally fun to see are pictures of camels also etched on the rocks a mere 2500 years ago.
But you don’t need to go back thousands of years to see art in Bardai just 30 years ago a French Artist decided to make an art installation not far from Bardai. We visited twice while we were there, huge rocks in a valley painted with what seemed to be red, white and blue a peaceful place to spend a Sunday afternoon. One day we hope we will walk there, the last time Mark played golf with some of the other missionaries and Chadian friends -only 2 clubs and dig the holes yourself so interesting.
|Art in the desert|
Browsing the internet whilst back in England ,we even came across a copy of the guide to the rocks as they were in the beginning, bright colours startling against the austere brown rocks which surround the valley. We discovered that they had been purple as well and that there were small signs on some of them-we’ll have to look and see if they are still there next time.
|Setting sun on the rocks|
Occasional clouds too change how the mountains are perceived and highlight layers previously unseen.
|View from our house|
The local people may not be so aware of the colours of the mountains or the changes of light, they have been watching it for a long time. However they are aware of the changes of the colours of the ripening dates and our Teda language lessons are teaching us all the names for the dates as they change from white to green, then yellow and brown and we’ve also found out how the different seasons are closely tied in with the date harvest. Showing how the Teda have always been so dependent on the dates for their livelihood.
|How to pollinate dates|
It’s hard to remember all the words and that’s not the only complex thing about the language. The first thing we had to remember was that the sentence seems to be the wrong way around with the verb at the end – not a totally unusual thing but needs remembering. Then you have the same word meaning more than one thing depending on how you say it- was that a cloud in the sky or a dog or a drum? Well it all depends on the tone.
The verbs too have proved fun with each verb having two forms depending on whether you are putting down or buying or picking up or so on, one or more things and the two words don’t even bear any resemblance to each other. Add in the fact that if I give you or I give him something the verb also changes at the front and our brains are swimming.
|Nature walk as a lesson looking at parts of trees|
|Looking at the volcanic rocks|
So we thought we’d be sensible and concentrate on the medical terms for a bit as that’s why we especially want to know the language. However, still more complication it’s not as simple as saying I am vomiting but rather the vomiting is happening to me which makes the verb extremely long and almost impossible to say never mind remember.
Despite all this we are making some progress, someway towards a thousand words, or one picture. It always seems worthwhile when we are able to use a little and get a smile from our patients and neighbours.
We are hoping we have not forgotten it all and looking forward to getting back to our hill top house but we have to be a little patient and wait until mid November as at present we are ensuring that Marks Mum and sister who have both been unwell are back on their feet again and not needing us around.
That means chance to see more art work as the seasons change here in England and the Autumn colours begin something we haven’t seen for 7 years.
|Autumn beginning in Scotland|