Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm Not Afraid: the story of Samedi & the Bere Adventist Hospital

Samedi is a nurse who started out as a janitor at a small bush hospital in rural Chad and after working 28 years there has so much experience that during the years when there was no doctor at the hospital was able to save many lives by doing emergency surgeries in addition to all his other duties.

This is a video by James Appel

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday - The Blizzard

We were planning on getting up and driving to White Rock this morning to see Polly, but it was blizzard conditions outside. Rhonda and I got up and walked down Main Street in the early morning 9am. Just walking in the snow it was fun. When we got back to the hotel we called Polly. They had been sick all week, so with the snow and sickness we decided to spend the night again in Durango. We didn’t really do and thing except walk the street a few more times. After we told the hotel that we were staying at 11AM it cleared up. The sun came out and there were blue skies.

At 2PM we had lunch at Farquahrt’s & Pizza Mia. Rhonda had a salad, Sam pizza, and I had a turkey sandwich. It was standard fair. 30.00. the most interesting thing on the menu was smoors. We saw another table having them. They brought out a sterno container, with Graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows which you melted over the sterno. The waitress said it was something they started a few year ago when they had a big drought and the campers could not have camp fires. It was so popular that they have kept it on the menu.

At 3:34 we went to see The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. It was good although somewhat violent movie with lots of F words. There were more people in the theater than I thought there would be at 3:45 on a Friday afternoon.

Supper was a loaf of French bread from the bakery across the street with cheese and jelly. It was very good. I don’t know of a bakery in Orlando that had French bread that good. Sam had ice cream from Stone Cold Creamery for desert. We walked down to the local bok store and browsed for several hours. The snow outside was beautiful even in the dark. We saw a jeep limo go up and down the Main Street several times. I bought a Indian southwest cooking book.

On the way back to the hotel, the streets were coated with ice. Cars were slipping all over the place. It seemed like the road conditions could be worse tomorrow than they were today.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thursday moving back to Durango

We had the best skiing today. After all the snow they groomed the trails se there was lots of snow and smooth runs plus it was still snowing. By the third day I was worn out I quite at 2PM because I started to fall on every run, my muscles were exhausted. We had pizza fro lunch at a place in the village.

We had to check out of the room before Sam and I started to ski as we were moving down to Durango that night, in preparation for our trip to White Rock, New Mexico. Sam snowboarded till 4PM closing time.

We drove back to Durango in the snow and checked into the General Palmer again. We stayed in room 215 that night. It was a nice big room overlooking the main street. We ate a Gazpachio’s again. I had the combination plate this time with Enchilada, Tamale, beans and rice. The rice was a bit dry I thought. 32.50 with tip.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wednesday in Durango

It snowed 9” last night the powder was half way to our knees. The skiing was a lot harder. The temperature was in the 32’s instead of the high 50’s. At 3pm went to Rockaway to catch the Durango train. The snow was perfect the sun had come out and the shy had puffy white clouds. As we waited for the train the men from the meeting were throwing snow balls at each other. The train arrived about 3:40 everybody loaded up and we started through the gorge. After about 10 minutes the train came to a jerky stop. We had left one of the bus’s at the station. They had seen the train go through the pass. We ere later told that this had been the first time in the trains history that it had backed up after leaving Rockaway.

The train ride was about 3 hours long. At the half way point the train turned around at a Y. The ride alone the river was spectacular.

After the train ride we went to the Durango train Museum and had our supper. It was good.

This is were we started backing up.

Camera phone image.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tuesday in Durango

We skied at Purgatory our destination. The last snow that they had had was on February 19 2 inches. The bottoms of the runs were rock and grass. Rhonda skied the last half of the day after her meetings were out. We had lunch in the room bread and cheese that we had bought in Durango the night before.

That night we went into Durango to eat at Skinny’s Grill. Rhonda wanted a Vegeburger. It was a burger made our of black beans, roiled oats, brown rice, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, Anaheim chilies, and mozzarella cheese. I had another try at a fish taco. Better wait till I get home and can go to Baja Kitchen. Sam had a chimichanga which he devoured. After supper we went back to the HOTEL.

Monday, March 06, 2006



Lucnh was at Southern Soy – an Asian Fusion restaurant.
I had fish and chips (Salmon and Tilapia) Rhonda had Three Heart Salad it had heart of palm, heart of romaine, and heart of artichoke salad with a peppercorn vinaigrette dressing (minus the artichoke hearts they were out). Sam had Tofu Pad Thai not enough noodles and too many mushrooms for him. The menu had items with grits, Po’Boys and other items with a southern flair. They all looked good.

We had stopped in a Tibetan restaurant to try their buffet but several of the dishes had coconut in them, so we moved down the street to Southern Soy. The dish that looked the most unusual had soba noodles mixed with vegetables and coconut flakes.

Southern Soy 35.00 with tip. ****

That night we ate at “Gazpacho New Mexican Cooking”. Rhonda had the vegetarian enchilada plate. Sam had The vegetarian chalupa and I had the Vegetarian tamale plate. We all selected the green enchilada sauce, which turned out to be quite hot. The tamales were quite good; they had squash in then both zucchini and yellow. The meal was topped off with warn sopapillas with honey.

Gazpacho New Mexican Cooking 32.00 with tip. ****

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Orlando to Durango


The alarm beeped at 5:45 am. I dragged myself to the shower. I returned t the bedroom to see Rhonda still asleep. I turned on the light to awaken her saying hello hello. Next I go to Sam’s room and repeat the process. We arrive at the care park and there is a long line of people waiting for the bus. Two men almost get into a fist fight over putting there luggage on the bus .A big brute with shaven head wearing a Louisville, KY. Sweatshirt is threatening to break the other guys noise. I thing that he could have done it if he has chosen to. The other guy’s wife pleaded with them to calm down. They ended up shaking hands.

We arrived at the terminal at 7:15. After electronic check in we headed for the tram. 7:30 we arrived at our gate. The plan was to leave at 7:50. The gate was empty everyone had boarded the plan. We were the last 3 to go down the gangway. For a Southwest flight this is not a good thing. We had to sit in the back on 3 separate rows, all of us in a middle seat.

I have been reading the book “A Cooks’ Tour” by Anthony Bourdain. As we cross the country in rout to Durango I am reading about Anthony’s trip to Saigon, Viet Nam. He is describing all the smells and sounds of the market. It reminds me of the sights and sounds of N’dJemma, Chad. Only not as fresh.

He also describes a trip to Russia, where the cops pull the car he is traveling in over and ask for their papers. Apparently there are never the appropriate papers in these instances. They didn’t even wait for them to produce the papers before saying it would be 50 Rubles. This is just like our trip to Cameron where the cops stopped us and we didn’t have the correct registration for the truck.

While in Chad I didn’t taste the local food , I will next time.

10AM MST we arrive in Albuquerque without incident. We picked up our Alamo rental car. A Jeep Grand Cherokee we got to pick out of 10 SUV’s available. We headed north to Bernalillo. Our first stop was to be Abuelitas New Mexican restaurant. Located at 612 Camino Del Pueblo in Bernalillo, NW. It is a restaurant that we have eaten at before. Once in 1992 when Sam was 2 years old. Rhonda had gone out early and Sam and I came out to join her at the Presidents counsel in Santa Fe. Another time with Rhonda when we had gone to Santa Fe. We all had the same thing. Cheese Enchilada’s with green chili sauce, beans and rice, a very small garnish of salad, and sopapillas. It was as I remember delicious. There was not the over powering taste of cheese as some cheese enchilada’s have. This is a family run restaurant. The grandpa of the clan was there when we arrived, helping us to our table.

After lunch we headed NW to Aztec about 150 miles away. The scenery was stark brown everywhere except for the sage brush. A few cotton woods had a yellow tinge, and the twigs growing by the river banks were turning red. These are the twigs that lamps are made of in Santa Fe. Some day we will make that lamp! The sky was azure blue not a cloud to be seen.

We turned down a side road and stopped at an arroyo and walked around. The sand was interesting harder than sand alone.

We arrived in Aztec and went to the ruins. It was 65 degrees. We spent an hour walking around and watching the video.

About 4pm we left for Durando 30 mile to the north. We found an old Inn the General Palmer. It was a block away from the Durango train station, on Main Street. The room was nice and well decorated. We walked the streets for a while. I bought a belt for the silver buckle that I bought last year in West Yellowstone..

We had supper at Nini’s a Baja Kitchen type place. The girl behind the counter had a bright red hair and a bright streak of green in the front. Sam had a chicken quesadilla, Rhonda and I had a fish taco not the best.

After supper we went back to the room and watched the Oscars.