The city has a strange feeling to it, but I think that a lot of that might come from my own filters, the way I interpret what I’m taking in.
Our friends here, the ones I have mentioned in earlier posts, are very friendly and warm, and they go out of their ways to help us. I’m not sure how welcome we, foreigners, are to the rest of the populations. I have not been able to interact with barely anyone, since we do not get the chance to go out and mingle because of security reasons, but the people I do cross paths with do not offer smiles or even a nod of the head. I asked a young aid worker that just came in from the field about it, and she said that it was very much a N’Djamena thing. The rest of the country, S says, is very warm and friendly.
S has been working in the camps but is returning home to the United States to finish her work, which needs to be done on the computer. Because of the lack of electricity out in the camps she was stationed in, she was not able to stay longer.
Back to the people in the streets, the sights are rich and complex. There are different types of dress, from the very traditional to the very western. Some wear the big bandanas on the head and the long robes. Our driver said that they were the ones that come from desert environments. There is also a wide variety of military attire. I’m not sure if everyone that is wearing it is part of the military. Some, it seems, just do it for the strong fashion statement. In one of our few brief and short ventures from either our car or the establishment we’re visiting, Chris wanted to record some scenes along N’D’s main street. There were some seed vendors, women and children, on the side of the road. Instead of them calling us over to buy some of their product, they started all yelling at us to get away with that camera, or at least that’s what we figure they were saying. Children got up to walk a few steps with us and continue yelling.
Please excuse my ignorance on the cultural side of the country I’m visiting. I should have taken the time to learn more before coming, but time was so hard to find recently.