Engagement

In my mind, the blog is for work and I put social things on Facebook, but this will affect all aspects of life, so here’s some news: On 30th July 2016, Aphia Tuwi asked me to marry him and I said, “Yes!”

We hope to marry in Scotland in 2017. I am going back to Scotland in March 2017 to visit churches and prayer groups and to prepare for the wedding!

Teaching English

Greetings from East Chad! Here’s a photo of me hard at work teaching English. The students include men wanting to do commerce in Sudan, students wanting to do their Masters in English-speaking countries and women studying Law and International relations at the local university. I teach Level 1, which is a fun level to teach, as they start with no English and can understand and speak basic English at the end of 10 weeks!

The Explaining Game (Knowledge that we take for granted!)

The following is a list of things that are not easily understood by a lot of Chadians living in Abéché:

  • Berries, e.g. Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, etc.
  • Other currencies (apart from those who have already travelled to Sudan)
  • The sea. Salt water vs Fresh water
  • Bank cards and paying for things in shops using them
  • Supermarkets and trolleys
  • Travel insurance
  • House insurance
  • National insurance
  • Water-based toilets and waste water treatment
  • Toilets on aeroplanes
  • Snow, skiing and snowboarding
  • Icy roads
  • Compost
  • Hotel (where you stay with people you don’t know while travelling)
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Drinking water from individual glasses (rather than one big bowl)
  • Eating using a knife and fork
  • Dessert
  • Cake icing
  • Wool that has more than one colour in each ball
  • Washing machines
  • Dish-washers
  • Tumble dryers
  • Chronic illness that needs treatment for longer than a week
  • Chopping boards
  • Living inside a house
  • Closing a door
  • Going out in the rain

I’m sure that there are many more, but some of these concepts are difficult to explain.

Try explaining them in Chadian Arabic!

Dust Storm!

I wish that I had a photo of this one. As I finished teaching English class, a huge dust storm rolled in from the desert. It was a huge wall of black and grey cloud, looking like a large wave surging forward. It was moving fast. I jumped in a ruckshaw, but realised that the wall of dust had already passed my house and we were going to have to head straight for it! As we entered it, the wind whipped dust and pieces of rubbish around and even into the ruckshaw. Even using clothes to cover my eyes and mouth and nose, a lot of dust got in. The ruckshaw driver put on the head-lights, as we could see very little, as it was dark inside the cloud of dust, like in thick fog, but darker instead of white. We made it to my front gate and I felt my way through unlocking the 2 padlocks to let me in through the gate and then the front door. Inside my house is also full of the dust that the wind blew in. (Instead of glass windows and solid doors, we have metal slats and mosquito netting, neither of which stops wind and dust.) My belongings look like they have been sitting for weeks, while I only left the house 2 hours ago. Even as I type, the dust continues to settle. One hour, and it is all over, but the dust still settling and a few more gusts of wind. And thankfully a drop in temperature of 10*C! Now to start mopping up the dust.

Sent from Windows Mail

Return to Chad

I arrived safely in N’Djamena, Chad, on 11 August and am now language learning and getting used to the heat. This morning it is only 27*C, but with 84% humidity! I’m settling in well and looking forward to travelling out to the town that I’ll be living in on Saturday.

Return to Chad

I’ve nearly finished the meetings and studying in Europe and will be flying back to Chad on 11th August, God-willing.

This time, I’ll be living in Abéché and will spend the first 6 months working on Chadian Arabic.
After that I’m hoping to do some Bible story-telling among a people group who don’t yet have the Bible in a language that they can understand.

Thank you for your prayers. I couldn’t be there without your support. Here’s a photo of me hard at work in Marseille, studying French with the aid of some lovely French coffee!

Back in the UK for a while

I am in transition. I left Chad on 26th August after a miracle with a replacement passport arriving the morning before the day I was due to fly, leaving only 36 hours to get a Chadian visa into it. But during those 2 days I saw many unbelievable things and saw that God was in it all.

So now I’m back in UK and trying to adjust to the food, tarmac, keeping warm, clothing, buses, having change, shopping and just learning how to balance my time in a healthy way. I miss Chad, but it is exciting to be seeing friends and family here.

I am in the UK until July 2015, God-willing. In that time, I will be visiting churches, prayer groups, youth groups and individuals who have been supporting and praying for me while I was in Chad.

Please do not stop praying for me while I’m here. The transition is huge and I’m finding it hard to manage my time well. If you are in the UK and want to catch up with me, do get in touch.

World Cup in Chad

So in most other countries of the world, there is electricity. But here in Chad, not many places have electricity. And even fewer have televisions. In big towns, there are ‘cinemas’ that project onto a wall in a courtyard and have benches or seats, and even here in the village, there is a cinema.

The other alternative for watching the matches is to find a family rich enough to own a generator and a television and pay for the privilege to go and sit on a bench or a mat outside their house, in the courtyard. Generators are quite noisy but the televisions are generally turned up full blast.

I have found such a family here, about 15 mins cycle from my house and I go and sit on a mat with the merchant’s wife and children to watch the matches. They even gave me tea to drink during the Argentina-Iran match!

Trying to explain world geography to some of my neighbours is a challenge. They think the South American teams are ‘white’ people and so comment things like, “You, the white people in the world, there are a lot of you, aren’t there!” Trying to explain that Irish and Dutch are different nationalities takes time for them to understand. They call South Koreans, ‘Chinese’ and no amount of explaining would convince these Chadians otherwise. But in a country that rural people only have heard of people from France, Cameroon, CAR, Sudan, Libya and China, they like all of the nations that they see to fit into one of these groups. I’m hoping to take my world map, for my neighbours to see, but I’m not sure it will make a difference. So I’ll just sit on the mat with them and enjoy the football!

Ambulance Driver

Sometimes when the hospital drivers are busy or away or sick, I have been asked to drive the ambulance. I love driving, but this adds new challenges, as it is difficult not to jolt a patient while driving in thick sand!

Graduation of nursing students

The photo shows 11 of the 12 new nurses, recently graduated from the Evangelical church of Chad Nursing School in Bebalem, along with one of the tutors (on the left). It was exciting seeing their hard work being rewarded as all 3 research groups received a commendation of ‘very good’ from the jury examining them.
Please pray for each of these students, as they start work in many different settings around Chad.

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