voxsouley

On Beautified N’Djamena

In International Development, Tchad on January 9, 2011 at 4:54 am

N’Djamena has probably never looked as good as it looks now.  Laborers are working diligently to spruce up the city for the “Cinquantenaire” celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Chadian Independence, which they’re holding on January 11th, two days from now.

There’s a large monument facing the ruling party’s headquarters on a really vast town square – the arch looks like the St. Louis Arch but with a big missile going through the top, pointing at the sky.  There is new gardening everywhere, the Yellow, Red, and Blue Chadian flag is everywhere.  They’ve draped the same colored Christmas lights – the kind that is made to wrap around bushes, over the roads, like electric bunting.  The visage of His Eminence President Idriss Deby ITNO, is everywhere.  You’re clearly supposed to know that he’s responsible for the peace and prosperity.

Any building with any significance near the main round points is being surrounded by new cement-bricked sidewalks.  Buildings have been refaced or painted.  Fountains are flowing.  I noticed in one of the parks on the way back to the hotel last night – there were people just chilling out on park benches enjoying their new civic beauty, however temporary it might seem to a cynic such as myself.

I would say that for the next few months, it’s probably going to be pretty good to be a Chadian living in N’Djamena.

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