Thursday, August 04, 2005

After writing about uncertain futures earlier this week, I realise it is not just the displaced families of Darfur who are trying to find a balance between short-term and long-term thinking: the NGOs are doing the same, albeit with some much more tragically funnny results.

In one of those "I-just-can't-face-another-dry-chicken-bone-for-dinner" conversations, a fellow aid worker tells me about his ill-fated attempt at starting a chicken-raising project in one of the towns.

Wildly popular and often very successful in development projects, this type of iniatitive is starting to appeal in a place like Darfur where people are desperately looking for income-earning opportunities after being dependent on aid for such a long time.

After convincing his team to go along with the idea and receiving a truckload of young chickens from Khartoum, my friend makes the fatal mistake of dumping the poor creatures in his NGO compound to "fatten them up" while he finalises the plans for his new project.

A few dozen dry chicken dinners later, he belatedly begins to notice a sudden decrease in the clucking and pecking going on in the compound.

Horror dawns upon him, and an awkward conversation with the guards and the cooks confirms his worst nightmare: there had indeed been some surprise among the staff at the sudden wealth of (and complete lack of explanation about) the live dinner ingredients running around in the yard.

In their defense, I am told that the cooks did make every effort to come up with an ever-expanding list of creative new recipes to deal with the crazy khawajas' strange craving for daily chicken dinners.

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2 Comments:

At , Blogger Rhonda said...

Glad to see you're safe and sound. Every time I see a new report on the violence, I think of you, your fellow workers, and...well, everyone, I guess. You're awesome :)

 
At , Blogger Vasco Pyjama said...

Heh. I'm grateful I am vegetarian.

And yes, I am glad to see that you are safe. I thought you had left Khartoum before the violence, but wasn't sure. I have not heard back from my one friend in Khartoum, despite having emailed him repeatedly.

 

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