This post was written while we were in Chad.
The Sonlight materials we have waited for came yesterday! Now we have most of what we need for Susan’s school; it had become messed up because we had portions of Grade 3 stuff here and in the US. When they accidentally sent the order to Maine, they fixed the problem and sent a new order to Chad. It was exciting to see a man on a motorcycle dropping off FedEx packages; it was a taste of home.
Yesterday was the last Fast day of Ramadan in Chad; the traffic showed it, as people tried to get the last-minute shopping in before the holiday. In order for our family to celebrate with Sharon’s friend M*, I decided to find out where she lived. After that, we dropped her off at Dembe market with her two friends, where they went shopping for sandals. Right now, sandals, sugar, clothes and candy are the big sellers!
I had some tasks in mind last night, but T* came and asked for help with formatting the Gorane Dictionary. However, all that was required was just a matter of setting Open Office to work on editing. It looks nice! And it energized me to help co-workers in a neighboring language with their technical problems.
The Beginning of a Long Day with Friends
This morning, the first in 30 days, I ate breakfast with the girls: a bowl of Rice Krispies. Yes, Kellogg’s has found its way to Chad, especially with the low exchange rate.
The girls started their school day, but their friends came over, their arms covered with henna, and wearing their new dresses. We welcomed them with the lollipops and Dubble Bubble we had brought from the US. The little brother of our former neighbor was so cute, dancing to some music, and playing with the inflatable airplane.
Our first call came from M*, Sharon’s friend. I was able to get there, fairly directly. I sat with the men under the shaded area near the door, discussing current events, and life in Chad. Sharon and the girls entered the living room, where they watched the news and the horse races until the meal was ready. We were served the same things: Macaroni in the middle, a potato salad colored with red food coloring, “ribs” in Dijon mustard sauce (which I love), meat and marara, sweet couscous and coffee flavored custard.
Not Finished Yet
After a soda and a small glass of sweet, hot tea, I went to tell the girls we were ready to go. However, the women promptly chased me out, as they hadn’t finished visiting yet. M* and her friends asked Sharon’s shoe size, and came back with a bag of sandals for her to pick one! Before they left, they put the incense burner under her as she was sitting on the sofa, and the smoke-filled the room, and her dress. As this was happening, M* put some oily perfume on her hands, and massaged it into her hair! We were touched by how warmly they welcomed us all.
After that visit, we headed on to U* S*’s house. He wasn’t there, but his uncle was, and we had a great time just sitting, talking and eating boule and meat sauce together while the girls got colorful necklaces with smiles on them, and bottles of filtered water. U* S* showed up 15 minutes before we were going to leave, and it was good to wish him a happy holiday also.
But we kept going, to keep our promise to R* and her family. Our visit with them was brief; our daughters are the only thing that bring us together, because we don’t have a background together, so the friendship runs a bit more with difficulty. The girls, however, got on splendidly with their friends, and it was a sad moment when we had to leave them to go to the Hedges at SIL for the birthday party of one of their daughters.
It has been a long, but pleasant day. I enjoyed being able to get to know all these people better, and to eat all the wonderful food.
What is your favorite holiday? Let us know below!