A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Madness!

By Zachary Gately, MPH

Madness! This week has been compete madness! We have been conducting our Community Health Worker (CHW) Trainings for the new members as well as having to plan for the entire next year, and prepare for next week's Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) trainings. Josh also returned from the States last Friday, giving us an extra pair of hands again. It's finally Friday which means the training will be completed and at least we can rest tomorrow.

I have stopped counting the weeks I've been here. It's somewhere in the low teens but there doesn't seem to be any point in counting since I just live here now. This is my community and I will work my best to achieve an adequate health standard for my community. I have met some incredible people here and it show the resilience of the human race. From orphans to vice principals to government officials, each individual has a different story. As my language skills increase, I can't wait to go deeper with these relationships. Of course, you all know that not being able to speak French has stopped me from trying to talk to people (I have been told that I can make friends with a wall).

The holidays are upon us, causing all of the nasara different levels of anxiety. Some miss family, others miss snow, and all are missing a well stocked grocery store for holiday goodies. Since we live in a largely Muslim country, Christmas comes and goes without much thought. This is also harvest season so people are mad busy with their fields. Once the New Year hits, it's party time for days! Fête! Fête! Every one gets new clothes and enjoys the fruits of their toils as they bring in 2014.

I wish I had some profound wisdom to impart as I live and work in a developing country. I wish I could share giant miracles and tell you that the lame walk and the blind see. Due to modern technology, these miracles still happen but more thanks to doctors passing their exams, living lives of service to a community in desperate need of services.

I can, however, give a list of miracles that are small but by no means insignificant.

  • We were able to get our supplies at a cheaper price and quicker than expected for our CHW trainings.
  • Tammy asked if she could buy our shelves that were way to expensive, giving us extra cash on hand (there is no return policy or customer satisfaction here).
  • We have a number if women's health experts who will be around to talk with our TBAs.
  • Our Public Health building was mostly completed and we were able to hold our trainings inside.
  • We found instant coffee that isn't horrible.
  • The printer finally decided to work.
  • One shop in the market sells toilet paper!

All of these things came to pass right when they needed too. Though they are not inanely large miracles, they made all the difference for our lives here!It's been an adventure so far and I can't wait to see what will happen each day.

Please check out our blog about the project here: berep21.wordpress.com. This is where the "technical" and "professional" items will be posted!

Zachary Gately
zchgtly@gmail.com
+235 91122492
L'Hopital Adventiste de Béré

ATTN: Zachary Gately
52 Boîte Postal
Kelo, Tchad
Africa

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