Afriku – July 2, 2015

along the Logone
when Lai was just a village
moon light lit the night

Way back in the 70s I lived in a small village in the Tandjilé region of Southern Chad.  We were there as part of a project to create canals for rice paddies.  The village, for it was really just around a 100 huts, two Christian missions (one Catholic and one Evangelical), a Soviet Health Care Centre run by a Russian couple and a small bazar owned by a Nigerian, seems to have grown around the rice project.

Looking up Lai today, because I’d forgotten the name of the river that flows past the town, I discovered that it’s now the capital of Tandjilé and has an airport and a population as of 2008 of 20,428!

When I think of Lai, I always remember the ferry service, which connected Lai to Mondou (the largest city nearest Lai at the time) and was it ever a precarious thing – little more than a robust raft with heavy ropes holding it between the two banks of the river. Now I wonder if it too has also evolved .. at the time at least three vehicles a day passed over the Logone on that ferry. Or perhaps they’ve since built a bridge.

passing time
a ferry-boat to the future
Lai on the Logone

© G.s.k. ‘15

The desert is constantly growing in Northern Africa eating up land and evaporating the water resources … what was once one of the largest lakes not only in Africa but in the world has been slowly drying up – the encroachment of the desert has many reasons behind it and it’s a very complex problem to face and solve …

For:

Carpe Diem Special #154 Afriku, haiku from Africa, an idea of Adjei Agyei Baah. “Stones”

shoreline pebbles…
a reminder of how far
we have come

preparing
daddy’s delicacy
taking stones out of gizzard

stone temple
leftover boulders
add to reverence

© Adjei Agyei-Baah, Kumasi, Ghana
Poetry Foundation Ghana