Day 8: The Journey Home- Part 1

Day 8 – Moundou to Ndjamena

This morning we awoke and again saw people lining up at the clinic building. Michel, the nurse at the Village Altonodji was there to see them and the climic was well stocked with the medicine that we had left from the week. The patients pay a small fee for the consultation but the medicine will be free for as long as it lasts.

No Water, No Showers

We also discovered when we awoke that there was no water in the water tank so we were unable to take showers. We believe that the problem was due to a valve on the pipe going up to the tank in being the wrong position. In any case it seemed to be filling by the time we packed up, said our good-byes and left for Ndjamena.

Special Thanks

The staff at the Village Altonodji has done a great job hosting us during the week, doing their best to make sure we had plenty of food and water. We are grateful to Samuel, Calvain, Pastor Pierre, Jeremie, Mrs. Bako, Lisa our Canadian translator, Michel, the Mama’s (widows) and all of the staff for their wonderful hospitality. Of course we will miss all the kids and being able to play with them and have them to practice their English on us.

After about three and a half hours on the road we stopped in Bongor which is a village about midway between Moundou and Ndjamena and had lunch at the house of Calvain’s sister who is also the head of the micro-finance program that was started by Mission:Chad. She has the same brilliant smile as her brother and fed us a delicious lunch of various kinds of fish, couscous and a vegetable salad.

We got back on the road for another three hours, seeing many cattle and large packs of camels along the way along with trucks, motor scooters and bicycles on the busy road to Ndjamena. We noticed as we approached Ndjamena that the dust and haze was growing thicker.

The Amazing Story of Pastor Bako and Village Altondji

We finally arrived at Pastor Bako’s office in Ndjamena where we were able to take “bucket” showers and change clothes. We then had a chance to relax and talk some more with Pastor Bako who accompanied us on our trip from Moundou. He related the story of how the village came to be. Altonodji is the name of his first born, a daughter, and it means “orphans need love”. She was given this name as a reminder to Bako of his own experience as an orphan from the age of two and his promise to God to show love to other orphan children. His daughter tragically died of malaria at the age of six in 1989 during a time when malaria medication was hard to come by in Chad.

Pastor Bako later had a vision to build a village to house and educate orphan children and provide medical care for them. He related the story of how God has provided the funding at each step of the project. One donor gave a large sum of money for the first dormitory building and was never heard from again (Pastor Bako refers to him as the “angel sent from God”). Spanish River has been a partner in the project since the village was first built in 2007 housing 40 orphans, providing funding for the David Nicholas Chapel building in the center of the village.

Pastor Bako once again expressed his gratitude to Spanish River for the contributions to the village in the past five years to help make it grow to house almost 150 orphans. God has truly blessed the Village Altonodji!

All Flights Canceled

We left for the Ndjamena airport about three hours before our flight only to arrive and discover that all fights had been cancelled to the extreme dust and haze. We will spend the night tonight once again at the TEAM mission compound and try to get another flight to Paris tomorrow. The adventure continues…

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