Waxing Poetic on the Harmattan

In International Development, Tchad on January 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

The Harmattan wind season began in earnest last night here in Chad.  This is a two-month long dust storm that happens in the Sahel during cold season.  The sands are swept up into the sky and everything gets caked in a fine dust.  They’ve found this dust blown all the way to Brazil in the past. This is the season where you can never feel truly clean.

You start to feel it in your teeth, you feel like either spitting or brushing your teeth a lot.  When you sweat, if you wipe sweat away, you leave lines of dust on the edge and on your hands.  Anything you have that was white will never be truly white again, ever.  The sun becomes like some surreal moon hanging in the sky at mid-day.  The wind through the Neem trees can cruelly sound like you’re near the ocean.  It’s sunny and clear but not.  Anything beyond 500 yards seems like it’s melting away into the cloud.  All you can worry about is right in front of you.

This is how I’m trying to approach my work here.


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