Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why the beer won’t be flowing in Chad

In case you’ve missed our summer episode, back in June Ginger Beer was offered a job in Chad. And being “our only man in N’djamena” at that. Not that we don’t like being in Sudan any more. As a matter of fact we enjoy it very much and we have come to know lots of lovely people whom we’ll be very sad to leave when the time comes, but our time is coming to an end and we have to start thinking about what happens next.

Before applying Ginger Beer had spent a few weeks trying to sell it to me. “There’s a big river”, he said. He didn’t seem to have noticed the Nile – sorry, two Niles – in Khartoum. “It’s much greener”, he then ventured. Chad is part of the Sahel, one of the driest regions in the world. Nice try. “It’s not as hot…” Admittedly, there may have been a couple of degrees in it. But since Khartoum is over 45 today, that’s not saying much. He wasn’t gonna fool me with that one either. “People speak French.” That almost worked, until he added that there were lots of French soldiers patrolling the city dressed in tight shorts. Not tempting. “You can have a beer by the river”, he let out in a final attempt. A brave final attempt.

There was only one problem: I wasn’t allowed to go. Under no circumstances was I going to be able to stay in the country for at least the first few months, maybe more. In other words, he’d be drinking cocktails while I’d be floating in a spatial vacuum between Sudan, France and the UK.

In the end, we decided not to go to. It was hard, since it would have been a really nice opportunity for Ginger Beer. But we learnt something beautiful in the process: as we listened to each other’s hopes and fears, we tried to look beyond ourselves and trust God for what would come next and we decided to face it together.

So we’ll be flowing in the ‘Toum for a few more months, which is not bad really given that all our lovely friends are still around. And I’ve recently found tonic water again.

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