Bahai beach

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bahai Beach 42

Bahai Beach 42

Calmness prevails?

February 11, 2007

Two of my chickens have understood the message. Their role is to make sure I become Lord of the Chicken. Grandmaster of the Eggs. Number One Chicken farmer in Chad. One is having 2 and the other 7 eggs stuffed under their wing.

The weather is becoming warmer and the nights less cool. The kittens enjoy their sunbaths and play in the sand. I can sleep outdoors and gaze at the stars again at night. It is a great season just before the heat strikes and the fierce winds are over.

In the camp 3 children were born in the health center over night on Friday. Since the arrival of Melel our reproductive health assistant manager, an experienced midwife, services are picking up rapidly. More and more women come to the antenatal clinics and we hope that more pregnant ladies will decide to deliver in the health center. To assure that at the grassroots people are aware of our new enhanced services 10 traditional birth attendants have been taken in to service. The core duties of TBA’s include finding those women that are pregnant and promoting the utilization of the health services.

A lady popped up at the clinic. For three years she had been walking around with a bullet in her shoulder and it has become too painful for her to handle further. Monday she will be on the ambulance to have the bullet removed. At the same clinic our new doctor Remi is finding his work cut out for him. The nurses in the camp have always said that children below let us say 3 years are difficult to examine and diagnose. One of Dr Remi main tasks will be to supervise the nurses so they increase their skills and also to give a boost to the quality of the consultations.

With our team nearly reaching full strength (only missing 2 nurses and 2 translator and one expatriate Reproductive Health Manager) it seems business is back to usual. Yet there are only 3 cars in the project (usually 8) and only 27 people in Bahai (usually around 50) you can imagine not all services are back to full strength. The health department has been in ways lucky.

Yesterday for the first time since I am here a football match between UNHCR staff, IRC staff and random passer-byes. It ended in a thrashing. My team lost 4-0. More luck next time and at least I tackled several opponents in the process hurting myself more than anybody else. Such a relaxing day!

To make the day even better I went over to UNHCR. Two new satellites were installed and I was force fed with a round of 220+ canals (Most of which Arabic) by Audrey the Big Fish of UNHCR in Bahai. So I dozed off at 22.00 after I had rambled on for about an hour that I would collapse after being put through more punishment.
Dog-tired but happy as a little bird.
I said: “Calmness prevails?”


This morning we heard two loud explosions in the distance and a little bit after we felt the trembling of the earth, the windows/doors shaking and an even louder noise. The most likely explanation is that an airplane dropped bombs. I do not know about wounded or structures hit but so far it seems Bahai was not hit

Always when you are lulled into a false sense of security in this place instantly you are brusquely awoken. The consequences for today are:

No movements outside the compounds until further order.

At the end of the day of tomorrow we will find out more. The local authorities and UNHCR are investigating as I type this story.

To me it gives a feeling of awareness of where I am. Only last week two nights in row I heard gunfire. Anne asked what the noises were and all 4 people present who had calmly continued with what they were doing (watching TV, chatting, working online) responded that it were guns being fired. Some how you get used to it.

Aware and accommodated to it, making an assessment as to:

1. Hit the deck
2. Go to your room and lock the door
3. Continue as usual
4. Inform the security focal point to follow up
5. Await security briefing
6. Go on with what you are doing

Today I am sure that the church service continued for our national staff. Several people have just returned.

Well to all of you,

I am fine.

Dr Ponce will leave for N’Djamena for meetings with people from the Ministry of Health. But with Dr Remi around that does not mean that the responsibility for the hospital will fall completely on my shoulders.

So calmness does prevail


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Anonymous Marilyn said...

I love that you share those things in your day-to-day life that tilt to the side of calm...your chickens, a good football thrashing, sleeping under the stars. I find myself wondering that as dire and desperate and terrifying as the situation there is, if there's no place else you'd rather be...because it sounds from your words here as if being there feels utterly right for you.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Ashis said...

tis home,
tis where my heart is

6:38 PM  

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