Bahai beach

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bahai Beach 28

Bahai Beach 28

December 7th, 2006

Where are the drivers?

Stress in the morning is never good. From 06.45 onwards ever more frantic calls summoning our drivers to come to the compound so we can make the 07.30 convoy. At one point Sheri walks to the UNHCR compound to confirm that our boys are all right. Yet no sign of them and the cars are in place. Is it true they slipped out before the change of guards?
To do what?
Go fishing?
Play ludo?
Alternative theories are popping up. Did they get stolen, are they kidnapped? A sense of worry is on the rise. And then the sleepy faces of our two drivers pop out of a room. They had heard the radio calls and overslept. And silly us could not find our drivers in our own compound!
In the Maternal and Child Health Center three women deliver in the last two days. One baby was so lucky to have its umbilical cord strung around its neck. The second baby girl born today had a knot in her umbilical cord. It was the seventh child of this mother and we were trying to understand why the baby took so long to pass through the birth canal. Both girls survived! The birth process is always an honor to be present at and working with Zahara and her crew of midwives is all my pleasure. Under direct supervision I can comment and demonstrate those things that can be improved and learn why there are problems with home deliveries and those in the health center. Many women do not eat on the day of labor and end up hypoglycemic and with feeble contractions. Some of the women have female genital mutilation and need to be ‘cut open’ before they can deliver. Last month seemed like a baby boom with 68 births.
General food distribution has been going on for 3 days and will hopefully be finished tomorrow. In the midst of donkeys, bags of corn, tins of soy-oil, dabbling children, horse-carts, armed guards and all the family cards one can see that there is a strong community sense. The last distribution only some people without family cards. The non-refugees (token holders other word for token = non-right, no refugee, no food) created huge ruckus last time. This time however it remains quiet. It is as if the refugee community realizes it may well be one of the last times.
Security in Chad may be in steep decline but Bahai seems like an oasis of peace. But that thought may well be an illusion. In the country on several occasions when there was an opportunity to loot the local community did just that.
I walked around the camp the last two days. There were to wakes to attend. The first was a lady who was 90 + . And then there was the boy of about 5 who had fallen into the fire and who died of the consequent sepsis. At such a gathering men and women are separate. The men pray together and share tea and a meal of Azida (it taste as it is named, acid). The women do just the same near by.
A boom of zag zag’s is taking place in the compound. I hope that Mimi will pop again but it seems she has gone on a quest leaving us without her feline capacity to catch the furry mice.
In a way working with a small team is good. There is a very direct with the refugee staff and a lot of responsibilities are on their shoulders. After all if they do not manage their drug stocks well when we are absent they themselves will suffer.
The men in the hospital are nearly all doing very well. About ten are still in traction with their upper leg fractures but most are happy they are not fighting presently. We hope the International Committee of Red Cross can find a durable solution. All have received crutches. The 3 year old with a calculus in the bladder has finally been put on an airplane with his mother to be operated upon. The lady who came 30 days after delivery looking swollen all over is now doing well.
And then in the camp I found a laboratory technician who used to teach at El Fasher in Sudan. This a good start, together with the materials that are already available to set up the laboratory in the camp.
The end of the day I spent running after kids and lifting them upside down. It causes an inner smile and is the biggest award of all.



Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home