Sunday, August 31, 2014

Herding goats

Our internet connection went from bad to worse in the last month, so I’ve been more disconnected from the outside world than usual.  But at least the project’s earthwork is progressing even though we’re in the middle of the rainy season.  We've had a couple of heavy rains, but according to the precipitation to date is significantly below average: this is good for the project but it’s bad for the region.  Speaking of heavy rains, I now appreciate stormwater management systems more than ever.  Despite the damaging flooding that follows heavy rains, Chadians find ways to use it to their advantage: when life gives you a flood, wash your moto.

Photos here are a little hard to take because the government of Chad discourages them – and sometimes I’m just not fast enough with my camera as we drive by – so I might have to describe some of the things I see around N'Djamena.  One morning I saw three men hunched over a rusty wheelbarrow running their hands through a soapy nut mixture to sell them with the rest of the nuts drying on blankets on the ground next to them.  I see kids playing with all manner of homemade toys, as well as swimming in the lakes that form after heavy rains.  There's a containerized car wash system with a picture of Hannah Montana on the side - wtf?  The most striking image I wish I could have photographed was a naked child perhaps four years old washing himself alone with a small hose of clear water on the side of a trash-laden alley flooded with a mixture of stormwater and sewage.  It was surreal.  Following is a photo I did manage to take of a man trying with little success to herd his goats across a busy street through a small break in the street’s Jersey barriers.

(This post written while listening to Bruce Cockburn Dust and Diesel.)