Strawberry plant, springs in the desert

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We arrived in Iriba just in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve. We made a big deal of it; we watched the emma plantBBC version of “Emma” while eating popcorn. Debbie barely made it through the movie before falling asleep, so we put her to bed. At midnight, we had Susan drop a beach ball to the ground while standing on a chair. We hugged one another… then went to bed.

Outside, there was silence; it was just another quiet evening in Iriba, like so many others.

Ever since we arrived at our Iriba home, there’s been a leak in an outdoor pipeline near the cistern. With so many leaks in the plumbing in the house, we only turn on the town water at the meter level for the few hours each week to fill up the barrels… but, right under the place I sit as I pray at sunset, water keeps bubbling up from the ground and flowing next to the cistern and in a place just outside our wall!

Chickens vs. Plant

In order to plant the potted strawberry plant in the shade of a nearby thorn tree, I have redirected the flow a bit to flow under it… but the chickens seem to have a vendetta against every green plant that grows in the yard. They peck whatever it is to death! The strawberry plant has survived so far, but this has been a living illustration to me that plants and chickens do not mix well.

During the day, I am getting up early to work on the Z dictionary, catch up on e-mails (400 in my inbox!) and on the “books” (accounting). It is frustrating: the Nokia phone we bought to thank the Sultan for his help does not access the internet. We are 3-4 days drive from N’Djaména, where we bought it, and we won’t be back there for 2-4 months.

How do you celebrate the New Year? Comment below to let us know!

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