Life in Chad during Corona virus

Folk have been asking us what life is like here in Chad at the moment, during the Corona virus pandemic.

The government has put in place some restrictions to travel, schools are closed and large meetings are banned.  Here in our town, the food market and food shops are open but other shops are closed.  We are mostly avoiding going out, but every few days Aphia goes to the market to get fresh meat and fresh vegetables.  It is difficult to socially distance with a 2 year old when others are not socially distancing.

Like many around the world, we are becoming more inventive in our use of tinned foods and are baking a wider range of things than before.  We experiment with various recipes from around the world.  We don’t have a shortage of flour or yeast here.  Some recent experiments have been samosas (that look more like pasties), mandazis (a Kenyan fried doughnut) and Hot Cross Buns!  Some of the other experiments were not so photo worthy.

Both of us are no longer working as before, as both football training and English teaching are not happening at the moment.  We are still continuing Chadian Arabic studies, but at home by ourselves, instead of using a language helper.

Some expatriates have left Chad, but so far we’ve decided to stay.  We would value prayer for our ongoing decision making.  We’re trying to make the most of our time, now that we are not going out visiting folk.  Aphia is doing some studies online, we’re doing more painting and craft with Emunah and we’re both able to read and study more than before.  That makes us sound very productive!  I am finding it harder to concentrate and am learning that some days are more productive than others.  If you are struggling, do get in touch for a chat.  We are both online more than normal and free to chat.

Water

Many of you are in lockdown/isolation in your houses, thanks to the Coronavirus.

You probably put quite a lot of thought into sourcing food and creating new (perhaps not repeatable) dishes from the contents of your cupboards.  And we are no different here in Chad.

However one thing that you probably didn’t have to think too much about was water.  You have fresh, drinkable water coming out of the taps in your houses.  Here in Chad we don’t have running water in our house or in our yard.

84415718_251828469139497_7197375335573225472_nWe have to buy water from young men who push karts around selling it.  The price varies depending on the season of the year and the availability of water, but at the moment it is 1000CFA (£1.34) for a kart-full.

We store the water in large barrels.  90709019_534664494096479_2397254035125043200_n

When we need more water, we phone one of the men to bring more.  Or we stand in the street and wave one down, but often they are already on their way to someone’s house.

For running water, most Chadians use a sakhkhan, or plastic teapot shaped container (pictured below).

92818163_254407449048594_4590587953658462208_n

We however choose to use a DIY tap system that Aphia made (pictured below).  Many of our storage barrels (and the washing hands station) are outside at the moment, so we have to be careful not to burn our hands when the water barrels have been standing in the sun.  We hope to make shelters for the water barrels soon!

91646017_253191375842915_3364920526374961152_n