27. The withered buffer

When in Chad, I took notes and walked around with a Camera.  My mission was, in my mind, to help with the immediate concerns/suffering, to document, and to learn about a larger world with my feet in it.  Advocacy became more prominent than I would … [Continue reading]

26. “Reverse Culture Shock”

  It’s been about two weeks since I’ve been back, and I have not put my fingers on the keyboard.  There are a number of reasons why this is so, but the primary reason is that I want… to be more present, and the past half year is hauntingly … [Continue reading]

25. In a Gentle Way

It would be fair to say that before coming to Chad, in the months leading up to this mission, I was expecting something alien.  Conditions and life-ways so extreme and dimensionally different from mine that I would struggle to connect with them.  In … [Continue reading]

24. Pretty Pebbles

I want a Porsche.  There’s no way around it.  Ever since I was a kid cars have fascinated me, the power, aesthetics, speed, engineering.  My jaw kind of drops when I see one, and has for many years.  I’ve had my eye on an early 90s 911.  The guy who … [Continue reading]

23. Schizophrenia

Patient names and minor details have been changed for confidentaility. “Youssef” has consented to have his story told in this forum. I told him that it was as if his picture and story were posted on every building in the whole camp, in all the … [Continue reading]

22. The Women of Farchana Refugee Camp

The night of Thursday 5 June 2008, seven Sudanese refugee women and girls were tied-up, beaten with whips and sticks, and publicly humiliated by a group of refugee men. The event was heard and seen by many of the refugees in Farchana camp, some of … [Continue reading]

21. Where is the outrage?

http://www.economist.com/world/africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11461685 The compound is where expats (staff from countries other than Chad) eat, sleep, and generally hang out after work.  It’s a space about the size of a couple of basketball courts … [Continue reading]

20. Logistics, nimbly

Much of the work that we do out here is focused on the final act: the prenatal exam, the psychotherapy session, the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disease, supplements and monitoring for the malnourished. In a very real sense, the good people … [Continue reading]

19. Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa

The ground moves here.  It may look like a patch of dirt, rubble or cracked concrete, but it you crouch down and just wait a few seconds, it starts moving.  Tiny ants doing reconnaissance, larger ones lumbering through, smaller red insects that look … [Continue reading]

18. Power

The day that I left Chad a text message arrived an hour before hopping on a plane for my holidays (I write this from idyllic-but-obviously-not-too-distant Stone town, Zanzibar). The text message said that a fellow named Pascal Marlinge, the Head of … [Continue reading]