The Last Supper
Dawn, her saffron cloak preceding the glowing orb, rose to silence the frogs’ croaking and herald another humid day. I stepped out from the NGO guesthouse in which a mosquito net protected me from the night’s beasts, and boarded another vehicle. The previous day’s traveling, hampered by the onset of the rainy season, left me drained, but I was racing back to Khartoum. This was the final Sudanese sunrise for a very good friend, tonight being his Last Supper.
The desert with his fiercely searing wiles, had other ideas, the spluttering Chinese bus veering off the tarmac road, coming to a stop in the vast, desolate sands. The sun was unforgiving as we stood outside, but the temperature inside rising to intolerable levels.
The driver inspired little confidence as he inspected the engine, a dumbfounded look spreading across his face. To my trained ear, the engine sounded “proper fucked”, like the rabbit. And so I stuck out my thumb. I knew not where I was, but I knew the direction in which we were headed, and where I wanted to be. Hitch-hiking in the Sudanese desert.
And thus I arrived—my clothes still smeared in the mud of yesterday’s adventures—to bid adieu to the first of the fold who would withdraw from this country of ephemeral employment. Many more would follow his leave, and those whom I expected only to be passing acquaintances as I traveled through Sudan would board their flights as good friends. All the time my feet firmly planted on Sudanese soil.
Bon courage, à tous.