Saturday, 27 March 2010

Gratitude Friday - Chances / Love

I am so grateful that my job gives me the options to work in different countries, which I guess partially makes up for the appalling salary.

I have been in Sudan only a week, but am in love with it. I woke on Thursday morning, and my first thought was 'oh no that's a week gone already'. What I have seen of the city, which is not much as my accommodation is in the south and I drove through downtown for the first time yesterday, is that it is not the prettiest city. It is dry and dusty, but it has something that makes me smile.

What has made me fall in love is the Sudanese people, who are lovely. They are friendly and helpful. Yesterday, I arranged for my work's driver (he picks me up and takes me home every weekday) to take me to the Sufi ceremony in the far north of the city. This was the equivalent of him working on a Sunday. I thought he would drop me off and then pick me up later, but no, Mohammed spent the whole time looking after me. I sat down to draw, and got surrounded by curious people, and he made them give me some space. When the ceremony was going on he pointed out things of interest. Mohammed is a Muslim, but not of the sect that we were watching, and he seemed to enjoy the afternoon as much as I did, taking photos with his phone and chatting to others. Unfortunately, communication between us is difficult as he knows as many English words and I do Arabic ones.

The group of women (right) stopped me and wanted to talk as we were leaving. One of them spoke some English and they all wanted their picture taken, which was difficult as it was nearly dark. In fact, all afternoon the children had mobbed the westerners to get their photos taken, and thanks to digital technology could see their pictures. Many of them had beautiful smiles until it came to taking the picture when they adopted a serious stiff position, as the little girl right.

I am so grateful that I am here, whether it is only 2 months or longer that I get to stay, I know Sudan is going to have a big impact on me.