Journey into the depths of Chad by Elena Molina

We are in the Borkou desert, in the Sahel; that torrid plain burned by an implacable sun and a wind that roars until exhaustion. However, this is where the Tubus, since ancient times, decided to live.

We are in the Borkou desert, in the Sahel; that torrid plain burned by an implacable sun and a wind that roars until exhaustion. However, this is where the Tubus, since ancient times, decided to live.

Here they build their huts, a vaulted structure of logs that are intermingled and covered with various fabrics and blinds. When the water runs out and the pastures are scarce, they will gather their gear and continue their nomadic path in search of more fertile lands.

Along the way we come across some wells where they manage to stock up on the most precious treasure, water. They are moments of encounters, agreements, exchanges, a time to share that makes them accomplices and renews their determination to move forward, in this place of exultant beauty.

Some are young, but they already carry, embedded in the folds of their turbans, the legacy of their ancestors, the determination of a people who became “guardians of the desert.” Proud of their lineage, they uphold their traditions with an iron will. Neither colonialism nor subsequent invasions by neighboring countries broke them. They stand haughtily on their camels scanning the horizon. His steps are rhythmic, imperturbable. His infinite path knows no borders.

And so we shared our days not only with the Tubus, but also with the Buduma people and the Mbororo or Fulani in the Niergui refugee camp, near Mongo, where they treated us to songs and dances that emulated the Gerewol, the courtship ceremony. in which the man displays himself, made up and in his best clothes, before the woman, waiting to be chosen. We enjoyed the hospitality of the Dangaelat people in Korbo, where we were received by their king, guarded at all times by shamans and priestesses, and finally, as the end of our journey drew near, we were privileged to share a cup of tea. in a camp where, provisionally, several families of the Red Arab ethnic group had settled.

We know that we will never forget any of the peoples that inhabit Chad, while we are certain that the vision of the Serir and Kebir lakes in the Mourdi depression will remain on our retinas forever, as well as the softest and most fascinating dunes, those mountains of velvety sand where you would like to curl up to allow its sap to nourish you, to melt into the soft womb of Mother Earth. We will never forget the gueltas, nor the fascinating rock formations that make up the Ennedi Massif, one of the most enigmatic and beautiful places on the planet.

About Elena Molina

Elena loves travelling. It has been so, since she was very young, but as she declares, it has just been recently that she could understand what it was behind. When travelling, she feels free, most constrictions just fade away. A vision of freedom, a feeling of not belonging to anywhere comes over her thus making her feel at home, no matter where she is, no matter who she is with.

It has been this passion for travelling which brought her to photography and somehow, also to writing. So many experiences felt in depth, lived in a completely open way and with total honesty, with no taboos!

All of a sudden, she realized she had to share that feeling and it it was only five/six years ago that she bought the camera she uses now, taking it with her where she goes as a second skin. Now, she cannot conceive anymore traveling without the camera, always looking for those moments to loose herself in the crowd, to wander alone through unknown places, stopping, only from time to time, to listen to her heartbeat.

When she sees others she sees herself reflected on them. On her own words: “I think our lives are like a kaleidoscope where there is a time and a place for everything. At the home page of my website, the following words appear: Paths. Furtive glances. Abysses. Silent heartbeats. Complicit winks. Steps, steps, steps…

This is how I think I would describe myself, that’s my search. It has always been like that and I would like it to continue to be so. I want to walk along those paths that allow me to verify that we are all the same, regardless of our history, our genetics, since, deep in my heart, I feel that we all belong to the Whole, to the Unity”. She was born in Alcoi where she studied, in her younger years, at the school of Fine Arts. For more than 40 years now, she lives in Barcelona, the town she most loves. [Official Website]

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