It’s difficult to make waiting look interesting. But if you had to pick a setting, the bureaucratic wonderland that is Chad’s capital would be a good choice. It’s a stamp crazy system that seems like a scavenger hunt at times. Get a stamp on entry? reasonable enough. Get a stamp from the police after filling out two forms with extensive vitals? a bit worrisome but this is a country that experienced seasonal rebellions not too long ago. But there’s more: get a stamp for traveling out of the capital, a stamp for your “mission order”, and a stamp to allow you to shoot video and photos. This last stamp makes my job especially hard because without it I’m just a spectator to these tryouts. And the rest of the world can only read about the process second hand.

So you can imagine my shock when I learned that we failed to get our filming paperwork today. I was in the process of mapping out the arc of the day’s video and was a little disappointed that there was little drama besides a misplaced bag. Now the story was that there may not be a way to tell the story at all. This is why there isn’t a video podcast for today. No stamp, no video.

The good news is that the paperwork wasn’t rejected. The staff just went home early (perhaps to escape the heat) and was unable to process our request. With some luck and help from our UNHCR superfriend Idriss, we’ll have the permit faxed to us tomorrow when we arrive in Goz Beida. Then I can continue the work of visually telling this unpredictable story. Stay tuned readers, multimedia will be coming soon. Till then, enjoy the analog pleasure of these blog posts by Gabriel, Mark and Brian. And if you were worried, the missing bag turned up.

James Thacher

My shot list, all I can show for now.

Share This