What can you do with 80,000CFA (around £100) in Chad?
It struck us the other day as we were reimbursed for a patients hospital fees by another missionary and then started to prepare the showing of the Jesus film in Arabic that this sum could be used for many different things.
For instance providing bread meat and sucrerie (coke and fanta) for about 60 people we hoped might turn up to watch a film,. We have just finishes building the kitchen area for the care givers village a place where they can cook and have shelter to sleep at night. So how better to celebrate than to eat and show a film.the story of Jesus told by a doctor, Luke. Outside under the stars weather nearly guaranteed apart from the sand storm as we were clearing away. French bread barbecued meat and coke( nearly MacDonald’s) and around 100 people gathered to watch the life of Jesus projected onto a white washed wall .It was fun and seemed to be enjoyed by all we pray for its impact on lives we want to touch with his love and not just his life.
A few days previously the same sum of money had been spent in a rather different way. Ndjamena is an expensive city for luxury items. The new 1/2 price special offer rates at the Novo hotel providing a swim and a snack by the pool and a swim for 12,000 CFA each. Six of us enjoyed ourselves at the pool on a Sunday afternoon. A place that seems like a million miles away from Guinebor II and a good occasional relaxation. It seemed the afternoon would last forever until a huge storm came sending us all rushing for shelter and we hoped a drink until in true Fawlty towers style the waiter arrived and told us that everything was ‘OFF’ except orange fanta However the ice cream was a good substitute.
On a more everyday note our new tariffs at the hospital mean you can have emergency major abdominal surgery for the same price. All drugs and materials included. This might sound strange but the free emergency treatment at the government hospital often seems to include a hefty pharmacy prescription to be bought elsewhere. We have operated on quite a number of emergency cases now gun shot wounds with damaged bowel, Amoebiasis effecting the whole of the large intestine and needing a temporary ileostomy and what seems to be very common here intusception where one part of the bowel gets stuck inside the other causing bloody diarrhoea and eventual necrosis of the bowel. This last illness is half price as it occurs in children.
Finally the case which started these thoughts of this was a boy of around 12 paralysed from the waist down after a car accident he was brought to us by another missionary because of large severely infected bed sores after a rather long stay and several operations he has eventually gone home his sores nearly healed. He left just in time to get back to school in his self propelled wheelchar having spent his entire long summer break at the hospital.
I could go on but the hospital is busy as ever and so time to get back to work. I need to see another 55 out patients at 1500 per consultation to make the next 80,000CFA.