Blogs from Khartoum, North, Sudan, Africa - page 2


Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum May 16th 2010

The plan in Atbara was to catch a bus to the ancient site of Meroe and then flag down something heading to Khartoum. Unfortunately no-one could understand where we wanted to go and the only bus we could find was not leaving until 1pm which would make it difficult to find anything later in the day going to Khartoum. In the end we decided to head straight to Khartoum but the bus was not leaving until 8am so we sat down and had a cup of tea. The tea ladies set up their stands on every street corner. They consist of little more than a brazier and a lockable chest covered with jars of tea, coffee and spices. Stools or old oil cans provide the seating. It is a great way of chatting to the locals. ... read more
Our morning cup of tea, Atbara
Matt at Ozone Cafe, Khartoum
Hamed al Nil Tomb, Omdurman

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum April 28th 2010

This entry is now over a week overdue. My apologies, I blame it on my fellow Canadian who figured he should give me all the video games he had. As is popular amongst the UNMOs that come through Khartoum, 5 of us along with one of the Canada house security staff (brought for language assistance) made plans to visit the ancient Meroe Pyramids. The adventure begins days before we even leave. First we must get permission from the UN to travel within the country, this requires several documents to be signed and stamped by various people who don’t actually care. Then we were required to get permission from the Tourism Police and the Ministry of antiquities to visit the pyramids and take pictures. A quick aside, taking pictures of anything other than yourself and your ... read more
As seen from Highway

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum April 17th 2010

My second week of training is now completed. The work week here in Sudan is Sunday through Thursday with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. The week went by quickly, and has seen a few Canadian UNMO’s come and go. All of our tours are staggered so there is never more than a few people at a time on the same schedule. The classes completed this week were generally more interesting as they were designed specifically for us UNMO’s. I am not sure if it is just coincidence or not but the majority of the lectures were given my military officers and there appeared to be a greater sense of professionalism than during the Generic indoc course for all UN workers that we had last week. It is not hard to determine who has had training ... read more

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum April 11th 2010

The majority of my time the past week and for the next while has been spent in and around Canada House or around the city. Canada house is a large 5 store house that has been divided into various “apartments” and common areas. The main floor houses our gym facilities and a common area with big screen TV and eating area. A step down from the main floor is the staff area for the national support element of the mission. The four floors above has apartments which each have their own kitchen, bathrooms, common area, and shared rooms with 1-4 beds per room. I am living in one of the two UNMO transient quarters. Currently I have a room to myself but this is likely to change as there are a few guys coming up for ... read more
The Pool
Me workiing hard
A piece of Canada in Khartoum

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum April 10th 2010

After a relaxing Easter Monday it was time to get to work. First on the schedule was clearing into the UN. This is a process that requires one to march around to locations scattered randomly around the camp, collecting various stamps and signatures to take to the next location. The process and its redundancy were ridiculously yet humorous as I filled the same info on to a dozen of more forms. It was during this walking about when the reality of the +40C weather hit home. Khartoum is indeed a warm place. Wednesday and Thursday was UNMIS indoctrination training. Nothing spectacular there, two days of relatively mundane training, along with some more stamps and signatures. While not particularly enlightening it was a chance to meet a few of the other international military observers. Other new arrives ... read more

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum April 7th 2010

Arriving Days 1-2 I finally made my way to Sudan on the 3rd of April 2010. After a pleasant morning in Sydney, Miranda and Oliver dropped me off at the airport. It was very hard especially for Oliver as he realized I was actually now going to Africa as we had been telling him I would. We made it quick and said our goodbyes in the car. This made it easier, I think, but it was sad when I looked back and the car was gone and I knew that would be the last time I would see of them (in person) for many weeks. My Itinerary was Victoria-Vancouver-Frankfurt-Khartoum, and had only a total of 7 hours waiting in the airports. I thought this was fairly good considering the distance I was flying. Fortunately the government ... read more
My room in Canada House

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum April 5th 2010

Prepare yourselves for a continuation of the picture-imagine-exercise first introduced in the last blog as I write about all the fun I had in Sudan. Sudan is the biggest country in Africa. Ruled by Pharoahs throughout much of its ancient history it was plundered for its assets before being brutally colonised by the British in 1898. Since independence in 1956 it has faced relntless revolts against power and (if you're up to date on your news you should know this) is currently limping through a general election a year before te Christian south will vote on the issue of independence from the Muslim north. Anyway, travelling with Istvan and Radek proved to be a strange but rewarding experience. Radek is gung-ho in every way and thinks nothing through. He charges around a predominantly Muslim country where ... read more

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum January 12th 2010

Sudan Well here I am in Khartoum! In my last update I was just dashing off to get some last min stuff done before getting the ferry from Aswan to Wadi Halfa the next day - 4 Jan. The ferry ride was great. In truth it got a bit stale towards the end, after 28 hours on boat and queuing for ages in the hot dinning room to complete the police checks and passport control, but all the beaurocracy aside, the actual ferry ride itself was good fun. The key I think was securing a good spot under one of the life boats so that I was both out of the sun and out of the way of people going to and from the galley and toilets. During the night the deck was completely covered with ... read more
mini-Sudan  002
Securing a spot
mini-Sudan  004

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum December 18th 2009

And so into Sudan. Largest country in Africa. Dominated by the Nile. Difficult to visit. Friendly hospitable people. I would like to put up some photos but the link is not handling it here and keeps dropping out so will add them later. Sitting here a little before dawn on the banks of the Nile in Khartoum at the Blue Nile Sailing Club it is just a bit chilly in the breeze blowing across the water. Kites - not sure of the proper name here - are feeding on the food scraps that were left along the banks last night by the Thursday night card players and picnickers. There might even be some left overs from the massive wedding that occurred next door last night. The kites seem to be a touch bigger and defninitely blacker ... read more
Ferry Cabin
Coffee in Wadi Halfa

Africa » Sudan » North » Khartoum December 18th 2009

My LP grimly prophesises seven hours to Atbara from Karima, but it takes just three. This allows me time to transfer - after a another free lunch and lift between bus depots courtesy of an off duty policeman - straight on to Khartoum, rather than waste a day in this uninteresting transport hub. Just under halfway, at my request, I am unceremoniously dumped in the desert at Begrawiya, just shy of the sensational Meroe pyramids. These crumbling tombs are the last testament to the ancient Kingdom of Kush (800BC - 350AD) of which Meroe was the capital. They are a fantastic sight. Significantly smaller and also narrower in structure than the epic pyramids of Giza, these ruins are appealing because of their solitude. They occupy rises on three sides of a sunken, empty plain and the ... read more
Police line-up
Where's Wally?
Meroe pyramids at sunrise

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