Smooth pavement in Chad has been a cause for celebration in the past, when we would make our long travels back and forth between Mongo and Chad’s capital of N’Djamena. We would leave Mongo early in the morning, and by mid-afternoon, after about 380 km of bumpy, dusty, dirt roads, as our wheels touched the smooth asphalt in Masaguet, we would all start screaming for joy to finally be on smooth roads again. The last 120 km to the capital seemed like a breeze.
    Progress came more quickly over the next several years. During our last term in Chad, we were able to drive on 300 km of pavement followed by only 200 km of dirt roads the rest of the way to our village. Then, shortly before we left 3 years ago, we only┬áhad less than 100 km of dirt roads. Most memorable was our very last trip out of our village as we approached the big wadi called the Bang Bang. This wadi was the main “rainy season river” that would block travelers from crossing for much of rainy season, therefore locking us into our village area for the whole of rainy season. On our last trip across the Bang Bang, we were able to drive “over” it on the newly built bridge. We were so amazed that we had to stop on the bridge and take pictures to remember this moment, but it was also sad to think that we would never need to ask locals, eager to make a buck, to help push our vehicle through the rushing waters again.
    Art has now been back to Mongo, Chad 3 times since we all left, and he reports that the paved road now goes all the way to Mongo, and beyond. What should be included is that, even though this road is paved pretty much across the country, when it comes to the part of this road that goes through the larger villages including Mongo, the work has not yet even started.