Blog: Last Hot Shower

It’s always exciting to head back to Tchad. So much is involved in return with packing usually the most involved. This time, my suitcase is full of car parts, kitchen items, and sour gummy candy.

I’m trying to decompress from an intense month of trying to speak this crazy language. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. And of course, being fatigued and having migraines and traveling don’t mix well but such is life. Soon, I’ll be home in my dusty little house.

The hot shower is really the last comfort that makes me realize I’m on my way out. This morning, I was probably the first one up in the entire hostel (of course I’d be the only one up since it’s a Saturday), therefore the hot water was taking forever to get up to the 4th floor. Man oh man, I’ll miss that shower.

Hopefully this flight will give me time to relax and sleep and not dream of french grammar or pronouns. I’ll be hitting the ground running when I get home. I’ve really enjoyed it here and hope to come back with a little more time to play.

I’ll keep you posted what’s up next soon!

Zachary Gately
zchgtly@gmail.com
zgately.com
+235 91122492

L’Hopital Adventiste de Béré
ATTN: Zachary Gately
52 Boîte Postal
Kelo, Tchad
Africa

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Found a Camel

Found a Camel

Sometimes what you’re looking for is just right there…Sometimes it isn’t. Normally, feel quite blind, literally and figuratively. Last “real” blog was about my time looking for a camel. There was no reason why I wanted to see one, I just and a craving to be reminding that I live in such an odd place in the world.

Thankfully, my thirst was quenched 100 fold. I went up to N’djamena in February to pick up some new volunteers and saw a few. Then I drove up with Olen (ER doctor/administrator) to the capital and they were everywhere! Hundreds of them just walking or eat or rebelling against their herdsmen. There were babies and fat old ones. I even had the chance to try some camel milk that had been sitting in a container with gasoline. It reminded me of plastic but that was probably the gasoline residue.

My classmates have been continually asking about Chad. Its already difficult to explain a country like Chad to westerners but its even more difficult to do so in French. All conversations on campus are in French or we’re fined 2 euros! In explaining, I’ve focused on the unique things. Camels were one of them! When asked how we all arrived I said camel and then someone tried to say that I rode the camel while it swam to Italy but instead they said I rode it while it walked across the Mediterranean and my fictional camel was named Camel Jesus. They especially ask what I do for past times or weekends. I paint an elegantly choppy description of a sand beach along the river, clear rice fields for running, great motorcycle rides to visit other cities and friends. I get a lot of interest, a lot of disbelieve, and lots of concern when I have to explain what words like “paludisme” mean. I have enjoyed sharing where I live as well as learning from people all over the world!

We all have stereotypes. At school we joke about Australian tendencies as well as question things like what exactly is England since its not a state nor is it a country (sorry Uncle Gary). The first time I opened my mouth, I caught all the teachers off guard. I have a US passport speak ‘Merican but I speak French with an Chadian accent. My issues in this beautiful language is not the speaking part but the structure and grammar. This is very opposite of 95% of the other students and it threw the professors for a loop!

So I keep on speaking, trying to get the gender/tense/pronoun/etc right. I explain whats going on with me and listen carefully to those who are working through their own issues with French. So though I didn’t find a camel to take me for free, I’ve had an exhilarating time working on my French. I have 1 more week! Then straight back to Chad. I am excited to get back: back to a routine, back to my friends, and back to search for more camels!

Zachary Gately, MPH
zchgtly@gmail.com
zgately.com
+235 91122492

L’Hopital Adventiste de Béré
ATTN: Zachary Gately
52 Boîte Postal
Kelo, Tchad
Africa

Let’s begin with a little update…

Let’s begin with a little update…

I’m terrible when it comes to being regimented with personal matters without a clear goal. For example, marathon training is super easy because there is a date and you can’t skip a day (remember, shuffling a day is different than skipping!). On the other hand something like blogging (*cough, cough*) has no clearly defined goal. Most of you enjoy (I hope!) reading and seeing what I’m doing but it can be one sided as I don’t always see the appreciation reciprocated.

So I’ll write my own goals and see what happens. I am planning on 3-5 posts a month with at least one dedicated to some photos. With those I’ll probably just direct you to see them on my blog, as it is sometimes difficult to send them via email (and I won’t be filling your inboxes).

Right now, I’m just outside of Nice, France, studying up on my French. It’s been greatly helpful and I have 2 more weeks to go. I have really beefed up my foundation of French grammar (which surprisingly is much easier than I would have ever imagined). Honestly, it just takes practice and now I have the essential tools to do just that.

It has been a whirlwind of a trip without much time outside of class to see the sights. I thankfully ran into a friend from Loma Linda University (Kristina) on her spring break! It’s a small world as always.

I’ll be heading back to Chad April 25, so if you want to Facetime/Skype/Viber, lets do it before then!

Beautiful colors! This was the first day I arrived. Since then it was only yesterday that compared!

Hike to the park that splits old Nice and the port.

Beautiful old ruins at the top of the city. They have nice gardens now. There were four wedding parties there!

My studio!

My view.

The view from my classroom. Normally I have to sit with my back facing it or else it gets too distracting!

Early morning run along the port.

Always great to see friends!

Finally an afternoon to jump in the water! It was the first time I’ve swam in the Mediterranean!

Zachary Gately

zchgtly

zgately.com
+235 91122492

L’Hopital Adventiste de Béré
ATTN: Zachary Gately
52 Boîte Postal
Kelo, Tchad
Africa