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Phil and Linda Byler, missionaries in Sudan
August 10, 2013 8:26 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Taxi in ChadPhil is in the front seat of this taxi. Yes the one with blazes on door. I don’t think the blazes represent the speed of our trip to N’djamena, Chad but as long as it gets us there before dark I’ll be thankful. I sprang for an almost double priced ticket (5000 cFA = 10 USD) this time to reserve the whole bucket seat. On the outbound trip yesterday I shared the passenger bucket seat with another grown man, a butt-numbing experience.

We would consider this vehicle full with 7 occupants but local norms are at least 10 adults plus children.

TurbinI just watched our driver skillfully rewrap his turban before we started driving. It must be at least 5 yards long. It protects him from heat, dust, and cultural misidentification.

Also in the taxi with me is one woman whose black veil leaves only an eye slit opening. It doesn’t hide her laughter shared with her lightly veiled daughter however. The radio sounds like a militant Arabic preacher. How I wish I’d learned more Juba Arabic during my Sudan days. It would be very useful here with Chadian Arabic. We just picked up another roadside passenger. The driver packed him into the already overcrowded third seat. Should I feel guilty for not offering the other half of my uncrowded bucket seat? Thankfulness prevails.

We just passed the cute little roadside Mosque where yesterday’s taxi stopped for afternoon prayers. Should I conclude that today’s driver is not so much into Ramadan prayers or perhaps it’s wrong time of day. There are so many nuances to this Ramadan observance. Many practitioners do not even swallow saliva during fasting hours. They spit frequently. So what happens to saliva during this 2 to 3 hour taxi ride? I’m thankful that in this crowded vehicle there is no visible answer to that question.

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