Last Sunday night was filled with maddening packing, re-arranging, and preparing for our 5 day sojourn to N’djamena for our petit vacation. Now, it wasn’t really a major vacation, simply a few days to get away, use some fast internet (for both work and leisure), and eat food other than the normal Chadian cuisine.
Daniel, Josh, and I rose early Monday to begin our journey by bus. Luckily we caught the first one at 6:15 am but unluckily, it was nearly packed. I got a seat on the back row and they each and a colapsable middle seat. As I sat down I noticed that the people next to me were already a different color: the shade of dust. By the time we pulled out of Bere, I had my headwrap on to protect myself from the dust. Every few minutes, I periodically shook the dust off my iPad so that I could read on the 8 hr ride.
Josh jinxed us by saying we were making good time and 20 minutes later, we got a flat tire. We did make good time, arriving just after 2 pm in NDJ. We called our taxi man, went to the bank, picked up some take-away pizza, ice cream, and Dr. Pepper before heading out to our guesthouse at the Luthren mission.
Once settled our days consisted of relaxing in the morning, heading out to the market, eating a variety of food, shopping for things unavalable in Bere, and then returning to make dinner at the Mission. As soon as we figured out the Public transportation, we ditched our taxi driver: $10 USD to $1.25 for us to get to the market. I thought it was a resonable trade even if that meant a bit more crowding and a little more walking.
The best part had to be the ability to choose what restaurant we wanted to go to. We could end up eating Arab food in the market, washed down with avocado smoothies or Chinese sweet and spicy tofu or even so flavorful Lebanese Falafuls. We took our time at each place. Josh chatted up the waitress at the Chinese restaurant while Daniel ordered a couple of entrees just for himself. I also thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the Parisian cafe drinking my esspresso and enjoying a moiste mocha cake.
As eventful as our trip was, the three of us were pleased that we decided to go up. Too many people who pass through Bere Adventist Hospital do not take the time to see any other part of the country. They come here, work like crazy, and then leave. Some hardly even get a chance to experience the culture they are working in. It’s hard to see the blessings around you when all you focus on are the problems around you. We saw this as the last oportunity before the Student Missionaries leave to understand that there is another side of life in Chad other than Bere.
The shock on their faces as they saw street lights, stop lights, parks with green grass, regular restaurants with chairs and AC, and new cars was very entertaining. I was surprised too by some of it but it was their shock that kept me laughing the whole way to our accomidations.
Over all, this much needed mini vacation turned into an all out foodie-extravaganza (thanks Johnny) and a time to just chill. I wish I had pictures but the no public photography law is readily enforced.
L’Hopital Adventiste de Béré
ATTN: Zachary Gately
52 Boîte Postal