Blog: I’m coming home without missionary pants!

We are well into rainy season now! This means frequently washing my feet, sparse variety of veggies outside of greens, and I’m lucky if my towel dries between uses. I bet you wanna know how often that is…

It’s also the season for lots of comings and goings. We have a variety of short termers come through during the summer as well as lots of longer term taking vacation or leaving. Needless to say, I’ve been busy tripping to and from Kelo, Moundou, Ndjamena and back to Bere too!

Our lone Student Missionary left this past month as well. I like to think that she was inspired by my public health work to return to the US to do her MPH after she fell in love with this diverse and rewarding career. In reality, she liked public heath before she arrived at this district hospital next to the middle of nowhere. In leaving, she left notes for many of us on prescription pads. My prescription was frequent shopping with occasional chill pills and a vacation after three months!

So yes, I’m coming home….on vacation in October!

But I’ve been trying to continue searching for a new pair of pants as my “Doctor” recommended some shopping. Recently I’ve had a couple pairs wear out and I really just need a good pair of non-ethic, non-dress, non-jeans pair of pants. But that doesn’t mean I need missionary pants.

Thanks to an old college crush, I’ve learned a new category of pants: missionary pants. I didn’t know they existed until last month when Sarah Macomber was explaining that my old crush (who apparently had a crush on me too!?! I find this out only after Sarah arrived. They were inseparable in college) called my pants “missionary pants.” I’ve come to learn that this means those khaki travel pants that have lots of pockets and dry fast are missionary pants. Funny how life works out that I had missionary pants and now I’m in the mission field. But just to clarify: I don’t have any now. Just not my style and it’s way too easy to be picked out. Now I just wear my Arab robe and get called Alhaj Zach and then get a free drink. But it’s nice to have an actual good every day pair of pants too!

So in the weeks to come, I keep looking for that pair of pants.

Zachary Gately, MPH
zchgtly@gmail.com
zgately.com
+235 68920884
+235 91122492

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

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Blog: Do you want some cookies?

Growing up really sucks sometimes. Running around without a care in the world except where I need make my next fort was my mantra for most of my childhood. I watch the kids here and see that they have similar missions: catch all the creepy crawlies, create an awesome stick collection, and look for every opportunity to eat cookies!

I still look for every opportunity to eat cookies.

But as a kid, you are oblivious to most difficult things. Kids often don’t care if you’re fat or have bad teeth or if your skin or religion is different. They just want to play and eat cookies.

When did we change?

There has been so much hurt in the last few weeks, months, years…maybe its just because I’m in tune to news now as a socially responsible, post-grad 20-something millennial. When the killings to Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and the Dallas DART happened, I was in Moundou (which means 3g cellular network) and I actually was able to load the news. As each day passed and something else happened, I didn’t know how to feel. So after checking in with friends in the US, I bought some cookies and shared them with the doctor’s kids we were staying with as they taught me French and watched French cartoons.

Once back in the bush, I relayed this new info to our team. They were equally saddened as no news had reached them (social media restrictions are in effect). I felt terrible as I relayed this news to the adults and one little 7 year old listened on. He looked really confused why this would be happening. He had a look on his face that said, “I don’t know what’s going on but I know that it’s important and sad.”

Now as other things happen (and continue) like Nice, Turkey, racism, refugees, child brides, sex slaves, crazy presidential candidates, let’s just remember to always have open arms, stand up for what’s right, and to share cookies with everyone, no matter how different they are.

Jojo and Abigail in Moundou

Ps if you want to see more photos, check out my Instagram at Instagram.com/zchgtly

Zachary Gately, MPH
zchgtly@gmail.com
zgately.com
+235 68920884
+235 91122492

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