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As if Congo wasn’t hot enough

October 26, 2011
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As of the 19th of October, Katie and I have gone our separate ways.   Until the end of the year that is.  While she is still in South Africa, taking a backpackers bus along the coast from Cape Town to Durban and then flying back to the states (with a few day stop over in Turkey), I’ve taken a temporary position in Chad.  For those of you who are not up on your African geography, here’s a (fuzzy) map for you (sorry I couldn’t make it bigger).

Map of Chad

The job is with a French NGO (Non-Governmental organization) called ACTED (Agence d’aide à la coopération technique et au développement)and the position is as a WASH program manager (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene). The position is targeted in particular towards helping address a cholera outbreak, as well as addressing the extra strain put on water resources due to Libyan refugees and Chadian returnees.  I’ll provide more details on what exactly my job entails as it unfolds.

I arrived in N’djamena (the capital of Chad) last Wednesday and have gotten a crash course in both what is going on in the country as well as the programs that ACTED has going on.  It’s been really great so far and the group of people that I’ll be working with seem really nice and with it.

 I knew that Chad, and particularly Eastern Chad (where I’ll be based) was going to be hot, but according to an unconfirmed source (my dad), Abéché (where in Eastern Chad I’ll be based) is the hottest town on earth – averaging 102 degrees fareignheight.  While normally I might take the time to confirm such an outrageous comment, I think at this point I would just rather not know.  And plus, in the end there is no reason to worry – I brought a hat.

While my near future will most likely have me looking like this–

Hot and sweaty me with water on hand

my first couple of days at the guesthouse were actually quite nice, and looked like this –

Poolside in N'Djamena

Well, the whole time didn’t look like that, but we did go to one of the fancy hotels in town last Sunday and hung out poolside.

Unfortunately, this means that I’ll be missing out on Thanksgiving this year (again), which is lame cause I was really looking forward to it.  My contract goes until the end of December, but, by using a couple of accumulated vacation days, weekends, and national holidays put together, I should be able to make it back in time for Christmas! (that is of course assuming that there are no crazy snow storms that delay my flight 5 days).

Once I’m there I hope to stick around for a while.  But with the way things have been going lately, staying stationary for any extended period of time seems pretty far fetched.  We’ll see.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dane Behrens permalink
    October 26, 2011 11:57 pm

    you guys are ridiculous. If only there were such a thing as rewards points for travelling Sub-Saharan Africa…

  2. Aunt Melodee permalink
    October 27, 2011 3:01 am

    Wow! When you come home, be sure to pack some shoes in your carry-on (no flip-flops 🙂 just in case your luggage goes astray. We will miss you, and look forward to seeing you soon! We are so awed by the wonderful work you and your wonderful spouse are doing. Love you,
    Aunt Melodee

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