Our trip to Iriba: CGCOC, chickens and baby birds

Desert Journal: April 21, 2013

CGCOC is still bravely working in AfricaThe trip to Iriba last week was great! As I drove, I found that the Chinese construction company, CGCOC, was surveying the road from Iriba to Bakaouré. They were getting ready to build a paved road to Abéché, drilling wells in preparation for this task. I wish them well (pun intended) as they take on one of the most challenging projects known to man.

I went to Iriba driving Twila (our Speed The Light vehicle), and corresponded my trip with Andrew’s return to Chad. Andrew wanted to begin recording stories in Z so he could learn how the language works. We got up at 4:30 AM on Wednesday, and spent the morning trying to find someone willing to be recorded. We went to three villages: Geme-Ba, Er and Kuba, but, unfortunately, no one agreed to help us record. However, we did meet a lot of people, drank a lot of tea and learned about Z culture.

Perhaps one of the reasons the people refuse to be recorded is because other researchers did so much recording in the past. In any case, we went to the market on market day (Thursday), and got as many recordings of Z songs, sugurdi (camel thief stories) and sermons as we could find. Hopefully, he can start on his research with this information.

A Souvenir from Iriba

While in the Iriba market this past Thursday, I received the gift of a chicken!Our new chicken from Iriba At around Friday afternoon, after Andrew’s plane took off, I left in Twila with a Z friend. An NGO worker, who had been left in Iriba because there wasn’t room for him on the plane, also accompanied me. The speckled chicken rested at my passengers’ feet, as we left at noon, and arrived in Abéché at 9:30 PM.

Henny Penny does NOT like the new arrival, so we keep Penny in the backyard, and the other chicken in the front yard. We keep them separate by a middle gate, in case Penny decides to kill this chicken, as she may have killed Prissy.

Over the weekend, a teeny little bird landed in our yard, having difficulty flying and needing help. Sarah and Susan gave her water, food and some tender, loving care. This evening, the bird flew off, hopefully strong enough to make it in this hot, dry world. The girls really enjoyed caring for our little visitor.

Solar Power

While in Iriba, I exchanged one battery on the solar system for two, which allowed me to set up power in an extra room for our host. I was then able to bring the other battery and hook it up to the solar electric system in our house in Abéché; what a difference an extra battery is making!

Despite cloudy weather, we haven’t run out of power like we did before. We could have power all night and in extra rooms, and the system just keeps on running! We now enjoy this extra blessing of electricity, just in time for the clouds.

Do you have any funny bird stories? If you do, we’d really like to know! Just leave a comment below!

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