|Wednesday 4th July - Sudan - Wad Medani
Today was our last day in Khartoum, so we had to do a few chores stock up on food and essentials, get the car batteries checked and revisit the Byblos Bank.
We went to the big Afra Market mall for our shopping expensive but convenient and with a decent variety of stuff. The Byblos Bank was en-route to the mall so that was handy.
The auxiliary battery in the car is responsible for powering things like the fridge, water pump, lights etc. Recently we have thought that the fridge is not as cold as it used to be and so we wanted to get the battery checked. Andrew went with one of the hotel staff to a garage while the girls and I waited at the hotel. It turned out that the battery was faulty and needed to be changed, so thats the second Optima battery that weve replaced since leaving home. So far the low cost replacements are working great.
It rained in Khartoum this afternoon a short, very heavy shower. We have had a couple of showers here, but we expect to be rained on a lot more in Ethiopia, since it is the start of the rainy season there.
Anyway, we left Khartoum at about 4pm and drove off in the direction of Wad Medani. It felt great to be getting out of the city. Capital cities are the highlights of some countries, but thats not the case with Sudan. Before long there were fields on either side of us, although often it looked as if the crop being grown was polythene bags multi-coloured and sticking to every branch, fence and bush. Rubbish is a problem for every country in the world - its just a more obvious problem here.
At about 6.45pm we stopped to look for a place to camp. We chose somewhere a little bit out of a village so we could get some privacy and then we drove down towards the Nile. The road soon came to an end in a field, so we asked at the nearby house if we could camp there. The family in the house were delighted for us to set up beside them. There was a family of 6 living in the little house father Jaresh, mother Dowa and their lovely children Abbas, Hin, Anwar and Fatim. The children were probably aged from 1 to 7. Keziah and Naomi immediately got out of the car with some toys to go and play with the children. Dowa and Jaresh were very friendly and kind, taking over a bench for us to use.
For the rest of the evening, before and after our dinner all 6 children played together with the girls balls, dolls and plastic animals. This happy family had very little and the children had no real toys. They had no English, so it was hard for us to get to know much about them but they seem to be subsistence farmers, crofters with a few chickens, a goat and some farm land. It felt as if two entirely different worlds had met for an evening. We had far more in our car than they had in their house. They couldnt even begin to imagine the amount of stuff we have back in Aberdeen. At one point I was lifting up the rooftop storage bag and Dowa took a strap. I was struck at how strong she was and how soft and pampered I am in comparison.
Later in the evening they took out a TV and watched it outside for a bit. Worldwide the TV is the electrical appliance of choice!