Blogs from Chad, Africa


Africa » Chad » East November 1st 2011

So since I last wrote you far too long ago, I’ve visited nearly all of our field offices—of which we have 10! (And no—being in N’Djamena does not count as living “in the field.” Try implying that and you might get punched by someone who actually does!) We have seven offices in the desert in eastern Chad dealing with refugees from Darfur and internally displaced Chadians, and 3 in the south dealing with refugees from Central African Republic. While I love the fact that, being based in the capital city, I cover the entire Chad operation and can get a glimpse of the situation in all the different camps, I do often feel like a tourist. I visit camps and field offices for a week or two at most, trying to get a feel for the ... read more
Might be gloating just a little
Sunset over our compound in Iriba
View of camp in Iriba

Africa » Chad January 16th 2011

15:27 Did you know; Lake Chad is very important providing over 20 million people, from the 4 surrounding countries, with fresh, clean and safe water. The Lake is nick-named The Disappearing Lake since over half has disappeared in recent years; there are only occasional rains from around June to October. The Lake is fringed with a thick layer of swampy vegetation, reeds and other Plants alike. More than half of the Lake’s space is taken by small Islands, reed-beds and mud-banks. The Lake is constantly above sea level. I learnt all that on an informational tour I went on today. It was very interesting. ... read more

Africa » Chad January 15th 2011

14:39 I was hoping to have another boat ride, this time on Lake Chad, but with wanting to stay within my budget, especially this early in the trip, I decided against spending the money and I instead chose a nice 6 mile hike with my guide. At this point I realised how beautiful Chad is despite the poverty and crime. Behind all that is a wonderful world of adventure…starting here! There was stunning views and amazing physical features including plateaus and valleys. On Monday I’m going to head off to the Congo River!!... read more

Africa » Chad January 14th 2011

15:16 This morning I met up with my guide. He’s a tall muscular man with a moustache. He’s called Abdoul Yaouba and he is casually dressed in combats and a T-shirt. Most tour Guides are Men as women don’t tend to wander around alone in Africa, Chad as they are at home caring for children and feeding the family. He took me on an interesting walk around the village and up round the Lake telling me all sorts on amazing facts about Chad. Chad is apparently quite poor due to the Civil Wars and Political Instability. I was shocked but Lake Chad has actually shrunk from 1,500 to 500 square miles in under 40 years! The source of the Lake is Lake Victoria and Lake Chad runs through 4 different countries; Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria. ... read more

Africa » Chad January 13th 2011

16:54 Lake Chad is sooooooo interesting I’ve found out loads of stuff I didn’t know before. Chad the country is named after the Lake Chad and also did u know that Lake Chad has no natural outlet to any Ocean or Sea! It’s just below the Sahara Desert so it’s kind of in semi-desert. Speaking of where it is, it’s just half way between the Latitude lines; Tropic of Cancer and the Equator. It’s also the most significant body of water in the Sahel and has lots of exciting attractions I can’t wait to see. I did have a bit of trouble getting into Chad, which I suppose u could laugh at now, because I didn’t know u had 2 Register when u came into the country so I had to sort that out and then ... read more

Africa » Chad January 12th 2011

22:49 It’s been a very long couple of days!! It was annoying all that traveling. Fortunately I only had one tiny problem…the Land Rover broke down on the middle of the A3!!! That slowed me down a bit but everything else was perfect. I wonder what I can do in Chad. Tomorrow I’ll have to explore. ... read more

Africa » Chad » East October 15th 2010

So this blog has been written for months but I never published it because it seems so boring…all I talk about is work so it almost reads like a lecture! I have tried to punctuate it with a little bit of more entertaining anecdotes but unfortunately…life in Chad just isn’t that exciting (outside work that is). It’s a fascinating country, but things to do in the sense of activities are limited due to security restrictions, so the most exciting thing happening on the weekend is deciding which of 5 restaurants to go to, what movie to watch (again), and what time to go to the pool which I try to do every Sunday. You can’t travel anywhere (of interest) on the weekends so it’s not like Malawi or Thailand where I was discovering new places all ... read more
Map of IDP sites in eastern Chad
VIP hubbub
Still some green in the desert

Africa » Chad » West » N'Djamena September 12th 2010

As the captain announced that we were descending into N’Djamena, just after midnight on Sept. 1, I looked out the window and saw only a faint smattering of lights; it was hard to believe I was landing in a capital city. The airport was unnecessarily chaotic, considering that there are only two international flights a day (hours apart); as expected a couple of immigration officials tried to give me a hard time—until they saw my UN laissez-passer that is. And yes, I will drop that term obnoxiously often . The UNHCR driver took me straight to Le Meridien hotel, which is one of the three “luxury” hotels in N’Djamena. I just booked there for the first two nights until I had a sense of the city and could find a safe place to stay that was ... read more
Ave Charles de Gaulle during rush hour
One of N'Djamena's main roads
Typical "street" in N'Djamena

Africa » Chad November 23rd 2007

Very few tourists come out this way, those that do, will never forget the experience...... read more
Nomadic Dwelling
Public Transport

Africa » Chad April 30th 2005

Chad is hard work. The roads are non existent. The police are uniformed criminals. The transport is slow and uncomfortable. Outside the capital the country lacks basic infrastructure. Chad was a French colony, but they didn't know what to do with it. They spent nothing on it. After independence the country descended into decades of civil war. The situation was made worse by the meddling of the French and Libyans. In 1980 Libyan forces briefly occupied the capital N'Djamena. The French forces drove the Libyans north leaving the country divided in two. The Libyans were eventually driven out by a Chadian warlord, whose forces were armed with little more than swords. That warlord didn't last long as he was overthrown by another warlord - the current President. The years of war only came to an end ... read more
Mao, Chad
N'Djamena, Chad
Immigration police stamps in my passport

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