25 September 2007


A walk to the central market takes about 30 minutes. I walked it today at 11:15 a.m., with a non-Sudanese colleague. Prior to walking, we slathered up with sunscreen. I fry like an egg in this weather. My colleague was worried about getting too dark. I can’t say WHERE this colleague is from, because it would give everything away, but she’s not African, nor white. Still, she is a kawadja here in Sudan, so we got lots of comments, mostly along the lines of “My mother! My wife!” or “I love you!” We also got prices, at one store, literally twice the price of the (honest) store down the road.

We bought some things: oranges and Pringles for me, bananas and tea for her, and then we walked back. It was seriously hot. Okay, it itself it was probably only, I don’t know, high 80s? But try walking around in the pure just-north-of-the-Equator sunlight in that nonsense, and it’s hot. We desperately sought the few spots of shade along the way.

I came back and downed all the water I could find. Three glasses of cool water, one little bottle of strawberry drink, and half a bigger bottle of mango drink later, I was feeling slightly better. Then I added another glass of self-help lemonade, and things were actually looking okay. My colleague, however, is fasting. (Ramadan, remember?) She didn’t drink anything, all day. When I saw her a few minutes ago, she was going to bed. At eight p.m. In exhaustion. I can’t imagine how she stayed awake this long without water.

So Ramadan depends on the moon. Right now, the moon is heading toward full, and it has been bright in the Elsewhere sky every night. I have hardly needed the headlamp. The paths in the compound where we are staying are cement, and they glow in the moonlight. I love walking around in the dark under the moon. Without worrying about snakes, mostly.

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