Bahai beach

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bahai Beach 2

Bahai Beach 2
17th July 2006

Dear friends,

Another week at the job and it has been mildly eventful.
Attending a leaders meeting is fun. After explanation of the activities of the main actors in the camp the leaders get the chance to put in their questions. Instantly the sea of white turbans releases snapping fingers. Elaborate introductions- blessing of all present and Allah and then sweet itinerary. Could UNHCR replace all 10000 tents before the rainy season (due now), can IRC take care of the roaming donkeys, we need 3 new traditional birth attendants as the Blacksmiths have different birthing customs than the Goran and Zaghawa, can you provide the rain to fall. When you are about to answer any of the above questions men and women will add on to the previous requests. Yet hearing all the dynamics-politics-clans-testing the NGO’s makes me realize I need to learn to be very prudent.
Traditional birth attendants were very happy this week as the new maternity ward had opened. A fresh 4-roomed white washed building (teaching room, 2 delivery rooms, 1 examination/storage room) Dr John gave an interactive teaching session on the delicate issues surrounding sexual transmitted diseases. In a role play two midwives demonstrated the difficulties of needing to address not only the one patient but also the partner and possible other 2 to 3 wives. Rich men in the refugee camp may have up to 4 wives and 20 children. Well what remains of it, when the janjaweed came some ran with only the clothes they had on. Some were more fortunate and crossed the border with up to 300 camels.
Outright sad was the news that our team leader of vaccinators younger brother had been killed fighting in Darfur (Sudan side). The medical team visited the ceremony to pay our respect to the mourning family.
On a lighter note this week: the gazelle (male) Ruby living in the UNHCR shall be mated with a female gazelle living in an adjoining refugee camp. An 85 year old lady was admitted with a snakebite. It took me a while to wrestle the snake off the lady and I ended up getting entangled (see attached photo for proof)
The market (souk) has finally been explored today: The Libyan market (truckers drive straight through the Sahel/Sahara) has sheeshas, tea stalls, plenty of Bibsi, shoes from China, phunky Football shirts (bartering hard for a Barceloona shirt), blankets, cup. All you need to be happy in a desert cum beach resort as Bahai Beach. One of the Libyan drivers actually had lived in Pakistan so I was able to exchange some Urdu with him. We ended up discussing who was the greatest Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan or Hritik Roshan.
We are awaiting the rains… No rain will put the camp and entire region in severe danger. All depends on one wadi (lake) photo will follow. If not tomorrow I shall perform a rain dance to ensure thunderstorms and driplets.
It was good to hear from all you wish you all the best and until the next week or for the lucky skypers : ashisbrahma

Namaskar Ashis

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