Bahai beach

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bahai Beach 3

Bahai Beach 3


Matthias picks up his shoe and smacks it on the floor. Bang another cockroach less in this world. But no it is a scorpion size about 8 centimeters. Both John and Matthias will be sleeping inside both have been bitten before and have felt the excruciating pain in the past. Frankly there is no treatment for a scorpion sting in our pharmacy. Luckily I have gone to the local uruk (traditional healer) and he has made a leather amulet to ward of scorpion stings, snake bites, knive stabbings and bullet wounds. Comes in handy these amulets.
Two days ago a young chap arrived who had been attacked with an axe like weapon. Part of his skull has crushed. All we could do here was stabilize him and get him evacuated to Abeche where there is a surgeon. By the way our Ministry of Health doctor has self evacuated and we pray that he may return here. Presently I am the only doctor in an area with 30000 refugees and 40000 host population and surgery is not my cup of tea. Challenges, challenges, John the Kenyan male midwife is traveling on Monday for a new mission in Liberia leaving me in charge of the Clinical – Public – Hospital – Mental -Reproductive Health for two weeks. The good news is we are recruiting a Chadian doctor and a new Health Coordinator shall be arriving Inshallah first week of August. As these interviews have to be done in Abeche I will probably fly up there next week to conduct them. The score for cancelled flights this week was 3/5 however. Mechanical failure.. Always good to hear when you are flying. We are encountering some sensitive political issues. The sultan is more or less demanding that we recruit local people only. It is hard to deny him many things as he is the brother of the Chadian president. Yet the illiteracy rate in this region is very high and trained doctors or labtechnicians are not available in the region. We have tried recruiting local nurses but there are just none. Some posts therefore stay open even if the budget is there because Chadians from outside the region are not always accepted.
The first party since I have arrived was in the UNHCR compound. Main guests were the staff member of UNHCR (security man) who was leaving, a gazelle (male), 2 ladies and about 40 men. Yet when the African music hit the speakers hips were churned a great mélange of dances from Benin, Burundi, Ethiopia and Holland were shown off. The cleg dance went down very well indeed. Since about a week I go to the souk (market) regularly to work on my Arabic and Zagawa, drink tea, gossip and get to know the people living in Bahai. In the camp nowadays we share breakfast with the Sudanese nurses. Either lentils, or beans or camel with bread.
An attempt is being made to contact the foci (healers by scriptures from the Koran) and bada (trained to remove djinn through there own two devils) yet it is culturally unacceptable for them to talk with a khawadja (foreigner). Overall besides the security the program is up and running with potential for improvement. Our expatriate staff numbers are low however and will not be replenished very past so although we are consolidating better to say we are trying to float.
Since the cock awoke me at 0430 and otherwise the pigeons at 0500 I am closing my eyes and want to thank all of you for writing it makes my day. Will attach a photo of the lake. Or what remains of it

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