Bahai beach

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bahai Beach 51

Bahai Beach 51

Chasing Hippo’s

March 14, 2007

Once every 6 weeks we get to leave the proverbial bubble. One tends to forget there is more in life than refugees, sand and camels in this world. On Thursday 3 of us hopped on a plane and lo and behold the peasants hit the big city 2 flights later.

This was by far my best break. There are nightclubs to relief the pressure. Imagine an energized Ashis hopping up and down on the dance floor. Different discos are familiar with the sight by now. There are some more visits left to round up the remaining few that have not been visited. Meeting up with witty compatriots. Talking with my adorable eye doctor about the differences but mainly parallels between Islam and Hinduism. Cherishing the endless amounts of addax (chatter boxing) between two friends looking to maximize the laughter. Jokes about his Keralite descent and my phony Marxism.

Just outside of N’Djamena there is a small village where you can sit on the riverbank of the Chari River. It is as idyllic as it gets. Watermelons and mango orchards with splattering of birds chilping away. The beautiful kingfisher hanging above the water looks for a glint of shadow of a prey. The egrets wading through the undeep parts of the water. A hawk observes form in a tree. The quiet of nature and peaceful as Chad can also can be.

One tends to forget while in Bahai that not the entire country is in a state of emergency. True large parts of Chad are heavily militarized riddled with low (or even high) intensity conflict. But there is also the delightful countryside. A place where fishermen carve up pieces of soap to attach to their fishing lines and where with wooden boats they ride the river waves as lords of the water. Catfish the size of your underarm are sold for $6 per 10 pieces. There where the local sultan comes out to greet you as you are a special guest of the village.

As the level in the river is relatively low it is possible to play a match of cricket on the bank of the river. Another nice scene was the visit of the Chadian honorary consul to India. He flew over to Chad from India to give a party in the Meridian for diplomats and business people. For token sake there were 5 Indians as well but the vast majority of visitors were Chadians and embassy people. To assure that in the Indian report of this event there were some Indians present we (3) were rounded up and a photo was duly taken. What I liked most about it was the fact that I got taste the entire range of Meridian pastries. They have an excellent pastry chef there and 15 different cakes and pies were sampled and compared leading to the conclusion that there should be more of these invitations so deeper investigations into the matter could be made.

Talking about photos do check out . There is a very nice article in Oure Cassoni camp with Angelina Jolie and on photo 9 you might recognize someone.
Right now I am hoping that my stand bye place for the flight to Bahai turns into a solid seat so I can return to my bubble and do my work there.

Just to keep you up to speed. Yoda made a tough and courageous call. A lady pregnant of triplets had delivered one child in the camp but then for the next 24 hours there was no progress for the other 2 babies. With the team he decided to send her by route to Iriba where MSF operates an operation theatre. The lady and the 2 other babies (completing the triplets) are now fine.

It seems I am entering the bubble again. This time I have the pleasure to know that a break (holiday) may be up sooner than later.



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Anonymous Marilyn said...

I love how you described the countryside. And your break sounds loads of fun and like a tremendous stress-reliever. Will await further dispatches about the pastry investigation...

P.S. I had seen the Newsweek photos--great photographer.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Ashis said...

yep Marilyn he made soon great pics

7:15 PM  

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