It's Week 13 and it's getting hot. I was on a patrol to Abeche for the last two days, normally we fly there but I had to escort the Red Cross and Mine Tech (a demining agency) up and Mine Tech and World Food Programme back down. Abeche is approximately 200 km away on sandy, dusty tracks and it took us nine and a half hours to get up there and just over nine hours to get back. It was just a long hot slog with the temperatures well over 50 degrees from 10am and lasting until well after 4pm.
Early Morning Convoy
We had a number of sandy wadis to cross that proved tough going and we spent a lot of time pulling some of our trucks out of soft sand or rescuing civilian trucks that were stuck in the sand and blocking the route. These wadis are quite large rivers during the wet season and are generally impassable, but during the dry season they are just wide sandy river beds. I have to say I was a wee bit wrecked by the time I got back here yesterday evening.
Broderick Furniture Sale in Chad
I am attaching a picture of some of the 'furniture' that wound its way into our tents over the last year or so. It shows how enterprising we can be in an effort to introduce some small comforts into tented living for four month periods. As all the tents have to be taken down over the next week, we had to clear out all extra items and collect them for distribution to the local aid agencies. Nothing goes to waste in Africa and items like these are gratefully received. Needless to say I thought it would make a good picture.
It's amazing how the body reacts to increasing temperatures, on arrival here last January we were limited to light walking for PT in the evenings when the temperature was around 28 degrees, now we have full training including 5 and 10km runs in 40 odd degrees. Of course working and patrolling in midday temperatures of over 50 degrees tends to force you to acclimatise fast.
At present our first group to go home will leave Goz Beida in two weeks to pre position up to Njameena for a proposed flight on the 9th May and the last group will follow some 6 or 7 days later.
That's it for now.
Take Care and God Bless
Kevin Mc Donald
OC Recce Coy
102 Inf Bn