Friday, February 17, 2006

How does one recover from that which we call CHAD?

I have recently been inspired by a fellow aid worker's approach to life after Chad and decided to provide you all with an update - that is if you any of you are actually still reading. Frankly, I was unable to be upfront when writing from Chad and I'm afraid many compelling stories never made it out.

I suppose I should begin with the ending. My final days in Iriba were more trying and anxiety filled than any I had ever known. From local authorities running off to join the rebels across the border in Sudan, to attacks in nearby towns, to local youth threatening our lives for the staff we chose to hire...the list goes on. My last night in Iriba was spent on the satellite phone, trying to explain to my mom exactly what was going on - that foolish need to connect from my isolation with somebody from the outside world. The next morning I was dramatically finding my way onto a UN flight and onto Abeche were I waited out the opportuntity to get on a flight to N'djamena and ultimately out of the country. All as we sat on our hands, wondering if we were about to be witness to yet another collapse.

I breathed a deep sigh of relief when I boarded that huge Air France plane from N'djamena to Paris where I was reunited with my mother. I enjoyed a week of Parisian distration before going on to Germany to visit some of my friends from the Uganda days.

I arrived back in the States in early January to find myself a bit lost. Chad pushed me to a limit I had never reached before. As politically incorrect or culturally insensitive as it may sound, I simply found Eastern Chad intolerable, unlike the Africa I had previously known and loved. I still think so many stories will come of this, so as I continue to unwind, who knows what will come out!

And now? I am in London, consumming mass quantities of milk and finding solace wandering the streets of such a dynamic city. After running around for the past few years, I am attempting some semblence of "normal" Western life. It has its appeal, but also rather scares me. I've already been scoping out work in other corners of the world, but constantly reminding myself to take a deep breath and let what happens happen.


Anonymous Pat O'Sullivan said...


I still check your blog periodically. Your comments are still very interesting. I'm glad that you got out safely.

3:25 PM  

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