Monday, February 4, 2013

Out to the Village (Trip to Africa - Part 3)

One of the days we were in Chad we went out to a village called N'Gueto.We started out toward 
the Oasis Center where we met with the rest of the team.
Before we left the city, we bought a goat to give to the village. This is Elijah wearing his recently purchased captani.
On the path to the village we saw a herd of camels.
We also saw their primary source of grain, millet. Thousands of acres, all hand planted and hand harvested. Looks like a lot of work. This picture doesn't do it justice. I think a herd of animals had run through this spot. :)
Donkeys are generally used by the women. The men use horses because they are more prestigious. Interesting how Jesus chose to ride a donkey into Jerusalem. There are so many biblical parallels in this society.

As we arrived at the village it was apparent that we had stepped back in time. It was neat to see people working and living in a culture that was operating the same as it had for thousands of years!
Ready for the kill.
All cut up and ready for cooking! Notice the intestines on the skin, that is what they served up for us to eat.             (Sorry to anyone who is grossed out.)

The men lie on reedy rugs while waiting for the food to be served. A traditional meal in Chad would be boiled millet flour, called esh (which is a lot like rice) with a green sauce, moulah (think pureed, boiled okra) poured over it. Sometimes meat would be in the sauce as well.
We journeyed out from the village to look at their animals. This is a flock of sheep.
This young man (probably age 12-15), is the shepherd of this flock. Boys start working as early as 5 in this culture.
These sheep are patiently waiting for a turn at the watering hole. There is no fence holding them back from the water which is only 20 yards away. They have been trained to wait for the shepherd to give them a signal (usually a whistle) then they go running for the water. Amazing!
The cattle there are smaller in size but they didn't seem unhealthy. It is pretty cool that they can survive off of the rough, dry forage that was there. Our cows here at the farm would turn their noses up at that stubble. :)
Calves hanging out at a watering hole. I quickly noticed how much longer the faces are on this type of cattle.
Because of my poultry business, I paid special attention to how they raise chickens. It turns out, the chickens harvest all of their own food and receive little to no care from humans. One neat thing I noticed was that they would gather around cattle and peck the flies off of them. Good source of protein, I suppose. :)
A mother hen foraging with her chicks.
This is a mud pit where bricks are made for building houses. The mud is combined with straw and then forced into a mold. Then they are dried in the sun. They also make red bricks which are cured in a fire.
I was told that in the rainy season, the mud walls would commonly become unsettled by the water and would collapse on people, killing them.
This was a very common tree. It has 3-inch spikes and each includes a poisonous tip which irritates the skin.
From left to right; Jay Craddock, John Holland (the missionary who is currently stationed there), the Sheik (leader of the village), Jack Fuhrmann, me, Josh Fuhrmann, Tim Smith and Elijah Meggs.

I will never forget the things I saw in N'Gueto. It was so amazing! Thanks for reading. I think my next post will be on what the Lord showed me during my time in Chad.


Jonathan said...

It must be really thought provoking to think how these people are living like this the same time as we in America are living such a different lifestyle. I wonder what they would think if they came to America for a short trip?

It does look like we could learn some things from them about sustainable living. The brick making reminded me of the Israelites who were forced to make brick for the Egyptians.

Graham Donahue said...

Very interesting. People here in America think sheep and goats are hard to tell apart, it would be even together in Chad! How did the skin/guts taste?

That was neat about the bricks. We Americans tend to turn our noses up at villages like this, but if we were to have any major food shortages, technology problems, high gas prices, etc., they would be much better off then we would be.

Sounds like the chicken production is much like it was here in America before cheap fuel and grain, when every farm had a small flock of chickens to eat bugs and all.

I noticed how all the men were lying down on the mats to eat. Papa said that is the same way they ate in Biblical days, hence the part where (John?) was "laying" on Jesus's breast during the Last Supper. It is interesting to see the Biblical parallels in their lifestyle.

Thanks for sharing! I look forward to more.