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Seven reasons you should go to Chad

After living in N’Djamena, Chad, for ten months Claire Bedford would definitely recommend the experience to anyone.

Zakouma National Park

Chad is very hot and very brown. With rain falling for only four months each year, the remaining eight are a swirl of dry, dusty wind.

Dust covering a room during the dry season

When thinking of places to volunteer, Chad might not be at the top of your list. But perhaps it should be. BMS World Mission volunteer, Claire Bedford, spent ten months living in N’Djamena, Chad, working as a pharmacist for Guinebor II Hospital (G2). Here are seven reasons why this landlocked country took her breath away.

 

1 Sunrise

No matter where you travel, two things are guaranteed to happen: the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening. If your journey takes you to Zakouma National Park in Chad, your sunrise might look something like this.

Sunrise in Zakouma National Park

 

2 Friendly visitors

Would you consider sharing your home with a salamander? What about a chameleon? If I told you they eat insects, would you find them more appealing? Well, these lovely creatures frequented Claire’s home to provide entertainment and much needed relief from bugs!

A salamander and a lizzard climbing the wallsChamelian hiding in a bush

 

3 Tantalising cuisine

A traditional Chadian dish usually involves ugali, a mixture of maize flour and water that is formed into ball then dipped or scooped into a bowl of vegetable or meat stew. The mixture of meats, fish, vegetables and spices below formed a stew called Long Sauce.

Ugali and long sauce

A less common delicacy Claire had the chance to try was a bowl of…

Cricket snack!

Crickets! Yes, crickets cooked in lime. Thankfully, the lime is all you can taste.

 

4 Seasons

Chad has an eight month dry season and a four month rainy season. When it’s dry, temperatures can rise to nearly 50 degrees. When it rains, all of the dust becomes mud but the weather is a lot cooler. Here is the field, outside G2, during both seasons. They really don’t look like the same place!

Field during dry seasonField during rainy season

When the rainy season begins, it pours for 15 – 20 minutes at a time, every day. After a few days, green grass springs up, giving the landscape a welcome splash of colour.

 

5 Zakouma National Park

Zakouma National Park

 

This nature reserve houses many of Chad’s treasures, from landscapes to creatures. You can see a variety of animals, a range of landscapes and beautiful sunrises (see number one).

Olive BaboonAntelopes

 

6 Small blessings – the hotel pool

On the hottest days, Claire and her friends submerge themselves in the cooling waters of a local hotel pool.

Hotel pool

 

7 Sunset

Claire returned to the UK this month, ending her time in Chad. Though she is no longer there, she describes Chad as a country of beauty, potential and promise, much like this sunset.

Sunset seen from the house

 

“If you want to have an experience of a completely different culture and way of living and don’t mind the heat, then you should consider Chad,” says Claire.
 

 

27/03/2014
 

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