Saturday, 18 February 2012

Snail-mail from Chad

Imagine a time not too far in the past, that this blog came to you as a letter by airmail from Chad posted in the first week of the New Year, with a bit of luck you would have been recieving it about now mid February. So here it is, a blog written by Andrea that lay unposted hope it is not too late to count as news. 

Mid January
Well Christmas is over and New Year too but we thought a few pictures of our Chadian Christmas might be of interest.

The play for the patients and relatives went well after a few false starts quite a bit of encouragement and some confusion about the shepherds following the star from the East. About 100 people were watching, one patient even walked from her private room the first day after her operation. The Christmas story relayed in Arabic was mimed out by angels in white (lab coats)  and Mary in a laafĂ©e .Others in Jalabeers borrowed from our Muslim guards and nurses and one of the shepherds in a turban. This all helped to fix it in Chad and relevant;  and a comment was heard ‘Oh so Christmas is about the birth of Issa’ so we did get the message over! Food of course followed, meat and donuts not quite mince pies but tasty.
  We attended a concert the following day in the French cultural centre it was a selection of choirs and groups from all over Ndjamena a great venue in a theatre out under the stars. There was some excellent chorale singing, the dancing very Chadian,  and sometimes not clear how it fitted with Christmas but still good fun.

Our real treat was on Christmas Eve when we had a camel ride we’ve been talking about it since we arrived but it has to be the right season(not too wet for the camels feet) and also not too windy as we found out when our first date  was cancelled. It was good fun and nowhere near as scary as I imagined there’s quite a bump as the camel goes up but otherwise it’s very sedate. The place is down by the river in Ndjamena but being Chad here’s the bizarre element you ride around a golf course! Not that you would recognize it no grass just beaten mud for greens and sand in between.

We then went on to Church where the service lasted until 5am .We didn’t manage the whole time I have to say and came home in time to sleep before covering the hospital on Christmas day. It was quiet and we handed out some presents and sweets to patients which were well received, apart from one little girl who was terrified by the small doll we gave her The day finished with a great Christmas dinner including tinned sprouts(not to be recommended) but sticky toffee pudding to finish was very tasty.

Our New Year started with a cancelled weekend away due to a patient with post op problems(now doing well at home) We still had fun with a walk to the grand canyon ( a big man made crater ex rubble mine for the roads,  just where we turn off the main road to get here) and a chinese meal but we are now back to work properly with plenty to do. Rob is now here to stay for 6 months to do admin and also Mike a doctor who covered our leave in the summer has come for a couple weeks to help. Just as well as we seem to get busier all the time deliveries are now around 40 a month and the operating log has 41 cases in it already for this month.

We pray that your new year starts well and continues under Gods guidance, with his peace and Joy.
PS 19th February, time flies, another busy month, a TV news program paid us a visit just after the blog was written. It is a bilingaul program, they wanted to interview me in Arabic as well as French, they were disapointed my Arabic is very limited. Apparently the half hour emission was good, but we don't have a TV so havn't seen it.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning how are you?
    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.
    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.
    For all this I would ask you one small favour:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Chad? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Chad in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:
    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia, 39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)
    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.
    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez