Bahai beach

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bahai Beach 53

Bahai Beach 53

March 20, 2007

Mother India calling

The sheesha is bubbling again. Tobacco is freely available on the market and with Yoda we hang out at night looking for the world’s best and worst song. Downloading from the Internet the hunt is on. Anyone want to chip in?

Today I have got my holiday approved and the Bahai Beach episodes in the month of April will be coming from India. On the hit list are; meet and greet the Dalai Lama, finding a nest in the Himalayas to call a home, meditation in ice cold rivers, visiting friends and family around the sub continent, stocking up on good books, chilling, incense, funky humor, loitering, bargaining for nonsense on different markets, games of karam, ludo, pimp pam pets. Being home in short!

The team in the camp is almost up to full strength and I can feel progress being made on a daily basis. It is a slow but steady process. As the security situation has improved over the last weeks and months we can focus on consolidation instead of fire fighting all day. The arrival of the new country director and the return of Marc will surely help in the process. Also in Abeche we have two new staff members; a security officer, who although I have only seen him sleep (my fault for never being around during normal hours) looks rock solid and a new base manager in Abeche; Frederic. With the truck moving up and down with materials essential items, as there are drugs and materials are arriving in rapid succession. It is a good time to take a break after 9 months in the project.

Like the last time before a break it is also an opportunity to reflect on the future, present and the past. As for the future it is becoming tempting to stay a bit longer as then I can see the reap the fruits of the seeds sown over the last months. Yet travel and seeing family and friends around the world is tempting as well. Another path as there is exploring shamanism, reiki, further study appeals as well. I need to make up the balance and decide over the next weeks what I truly want. The work in the field is definitely something that makes me happy. On the other hand a real social life remains low key here in the field.

Presently the team is changing, old friends like Mr. Mathias will soon be leaving and new people are turning into old hands. The smile is still on my face every day as I wake up and that is a great feeling.

The camp has been rocked by some very sad events over the last three days. First a
13-year old boy was stabbed with a knife in the lung and he is still fighting for his life after an evacuation to Abeche. Then yesterday a man got stabbed in the side by his son. The knife must have severed vital organs as he bled to death within a half hour. Today I visited the wake for the gentleman. He was one of our staff members. About 100 men and 50 women were praying in separate spaces for the deceased. The men read out suras from the Koran and the beads go rapidly through the hands to accompany the prayers. This mourning will last three days and will be repeated after about 40 days and thereafter yearly.

It is still unclear if there is an increase of violence or if these events are isolated and exceptional. The suspects for the two crimes are both in jail. Yet I cannot begin to understand the sadness that both families must go through.

The day also included a visit of the Dutch Ambassador for Cameroon, Chad and Central African Republic. He came with a team of three and it was fun to be talking with Yolanda and three compatriots in Dutch for half of the day. Discussing the difficulties faced in the field but also to talk about the resilience of the refugees. He also promised to send herring and eels on Queensday. Let us hope I return on time to sample some of those typical Dutch treats in N’Djamena. It reminds me of the days when I could pop over to the herring stall on the bridge near my house in Amsterdam and eat my favorite fish.

Well another day has gone bye. By all means send me a list of the worst song you know and the best. It is fun to down load them and make my song collection as eclectic as can be.


Namaskar,

Ashis

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Marilyn said...

So sad about the stabbings...yet probably surprising that there aren't more incidents like that given the conditions people are living with.

I can't think of a 'worst' song. But if you'd like something very upbeat, for me few things beat New Orleans music...a la Rebirth Brass Band or the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

2:55 AM  
Blogger Ashis said...

thank you

8:16 PM  

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