Thank you friends and family for waiting so patiently for news of my arrival. On the eve of Jan 19th, after being awake for approximately 28 hours, I arrived in N'Djamena, the capital city of Chad. During my flight I met an American missionary family who spoke Arabic, the local language, and they helped me to navigate passport checkpoints. Two members of my organization then met me at baggage claim and we drove to a local missionary guest house to stay for the evening. Everything went very smoothly, thank you for your prayers.
The following day, we began the 4 hour drive to the hospital. N'Djamena is absolutely packed with people, and I held on as we swerved around bicycles, motorcycles, cars, goats, camels and pedestrians! There are no lanes on this stretch of highway, generally you drive to the right, however, enormous potholes dictate your speed and direction:-)
We made it through the border checkpoints of Chad easily, which was a huge blessing. Apparently it is very common for local officials to take any opportunity to stall a traveller in order to extort money.
Over the past week I have settled into my new home, have gone on a tour of the hospital and have begun my language lessons. I have had multiple occasions to visit the village, and have made trips to visit missionaries, the local seamstress, and the women's Bible study.
A small market has cropped up just in front of the hospital. It is open daily and sells snacks and some groceries for out-of-towners who are staying with patients. One of our contacts, a lovely Fulani woman, has agreed to let me sit with her and practice my fulfulde (the tribal language I am learning). So yesterday, I went, armed with my stool and workbook and sat amidst the foreign tongues and swarms of flies. I was way outside my comfort zone, but they were kind to me and the women laughed at my attempts to say "A nyalli jam na?" the local greeting. They got a kick out of me and I was happy to provide them with entertainment:-)
I will attempt to keep you all updated on the many things I am experiencing here in Meskine. I am convinced that this will be the hardest thing I have ever done, and I greatly appreciate your prayers.
"Assalaamu aleekum" Peace be with you,