Millet is the main staple of Chad, and most families in and around Mongo have land in the perimeter for planting this seed. It is what most Chadians eat every day, so if there is a year with a very good harvest, the farmers, and the area as a whole, are very well off. Likewise, if the crops are very bad, then many will go hungry. There are two harvest times for millet. Red millet is harvested in November, and white millet is harvested now, in January.
The news for this year’s harvest is neither great, nor bad. So, although we all love a big return, we can be thankful that there will be food on the “table” for our friends in Chad until next harvest.
Please also pray for the spiritual harvest to ripen in the hearts of the Dadjo as God’s Word works it’s way into their lives.
Chad, Africa is a third world country. In fact, Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. For this reason, Chadians are forced to live a lifestyle quite different from your average suburban household. One example is in what they eat.
On the average day, Chadians mostly eat a pasty substance called ‘boule’. It consists of a grain called millet, which is their staple crop. Boule, served in a dome form, is eaten with the hands, and dipped in different sauces before it is consumed. Why boule? It’s cheap. That’s the best reason I can come up with, because, honestly, it doesn’t taste so good… at all. Chadians almost always eat as a group, from the same platter. It is part of their culture. Even though eating from the same plate is – we can’t deny – unsanitary, the average Chadians does it without exception.
Now, on special occasions, or if it’s affordable, Chadians often eat common dishes such as goat meat (which the Aviles kids love). The goat meat there is not what you’d find in the States or Europe either. That’s because it is always tough. The goats run around all they want. It isn’t like they are kept in some cage and taught to just eat all day. The same goes for chicken, which is not consumed as much as goat. Chadians like their meat spicy, so they often use different sauces, or a crushed red pepper mixed with salt. Another food is rice, but rice isn’t eaten even close to as much as millet is. Chadians get most of their other food, such as vegetables, from the outdoor market.
Now that rainy season in gone, although the humidity still lingers, the first harvest is ready for the people of Chad.
There are two harvest seasons because of the different millet (the main food staple) that the people in central Chad grow: red millet, which handles a drier rainy season better, and white millet, which handles a wetter season better.
Of course if the season is perfect, both grow great. A friend of ours had it bad for a few years. One year, it was just plain dry and nothing wanted to grow. The following year, he planted more white millet than red assuming another bad year. Unfortunately for him, it rained too much and drowned almost his whole crop. So the next year he went after the red millet, and you can guess what happened. It was too dry, and the red millet died leaving his family with another very poor harvest.:(
Thanks to the French military and UN presence, there is a growing variety of food available in the capital of Chad. We took advantage of that often when we were in the capital. But if you really wanted to eat the way most Chadians do, you would probably get tired of their food after one day. That is because they eat what they call boule for most of their meals. It is made of boiled ground millet. (You can buy millet seed in the States, usually for bird food.) It’s boiled into a consistency similar to that of play-doe, but the part that makes it nice most of the time is the sauce that you dip it into. This is usually made of a leafy sauce spiced up to be quite tasty… most of the time. A platter for the boule for everyone to share off of, and a bowl for the sauce for everyone to dip into. No table and chairs, and best of all, apart from the one platter and bowl, no dishes to clean up afterwards. Bon apetit!