17. Tea-time at the non-sequitur café

hamraNote that none of the following pictures contain patients, and all parties have signed written consent to have their pictures included in this blog.  Of course, parents signed for les petits.


Not sure what it was that helped me turn the corner, but after a couple of feverish nights and a loose string of, well, phlegmatic days, some energy returned!  Whether it was the anti-parasite medications, a few long walks under the mango trees, good days at work, or the regime of sun salutations, vitality creeped back in.  You need it here, too.  In the same way that it’s hard to remember the summer heat on your skin in the dead of winter, after a trudge through the dregs I’d lost sight of the joy in many little things out here.  So I thought that this is what I’d write on, or just show.  The things that you do that make this place fun…

Steven Cohen Psychiatrist Patrice.nerds

My good friend Jerry sent me a few care-packages of junk food and sundry, which included a bag of ring-pops, some original star-trek cards (odd), bubble gum tape, pez, and nerds.  This is a picture of Patrice, eating nerds for the first time.

Steven Cohen Psychiatrist Jochen.rope Steven Cohen Psychiatrist me.rope1

Jochen brought a slack-line from Swabia, and we’ve been practicing our tight-rope walking on weekends.  Seriously, you you make this up?

Make a Ouaddai-tini:
1) Go to Eastern Chad, in the Ouaddai region of the Sahel
2) Find hooch (locally called “diable” or “demon”)
3) Mix it with home-made Hibiscus juice

Walk pretty much anywhere and get accosted by jovial screaming tots

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Play soccer with them

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Kidnap a wee malnourished goat, nurse it back to health for a couple of days, and set it back out with it’s kin.  Be told by one of your staff to never touch local animals because the rules of Chadian ownership of animals is “more complicated than sex between ducks.”  Look confused.

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Relearn the extent to which necessity is the mother of invention

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Read while listening to Ivan playing guitar under the mango trees

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Say hello in the morning to Fatima, a worker at the Nutritional Center, and her twins, Safi, and Safia

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Say hello to Habib and Hamra, some of our MHS staff

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 Wonder after unfortunate abbreviations, MSFH Psycho for psychiatry

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Say hello to the theatre group.  This week they presented a little ditty on “family planning.”  Later I learn that Zakariah has three wives and 19 children.  He looked disappointed when he learned that I had none of neither.  You either laugh or cry.

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Uh, hello-moto?

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Walk through the camp and happenstance upon a volleyball game.  Be given a prized seat and asked if you want to help officiate.  Politely decline.


Hang out with Bienfait in the Health Center.

CAMH Steven Cohen Bienfait

Eat some lunch with the boys

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Marvel at the need for vehicle-Bling, Ouaddai-region style.

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Keep on providing good health care for free

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Wipe dust off your computer screen when you post blog entries

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