Thursday, September 3, 2015

A new beginning

Translation courtesy of Cintia Verónica Ortiz

35 days in the first world

I was born, raised and lived until I was 28 years old in a country called “developing country”, a political and hypocrite concept recently created by economists of rich countries when referring basically to the third world. I am a third-world citizen from Argentina and have spent most of my life in South American and Asian developing countries, that is why every time I visit the so nobly called “first world” is when I most feel what is known as “culture shock”, the opposite effect of what many first world inhabitants experience when they are horrified after landing in an unknown poor country. After travelling in Africa for several months, the shock is even stronger, the first world where everything is in order, clean and civilized (at least on the surface) is the one I really find exotic.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Down to the ground

During our second stay in Khartoum and once the 7 exhausting days of uninterrupted wedding celebrations finally came to an end, we were able to attend and event that we left pending from the first visit.

Every Friday, in a far-flung suburb of Bahri district, a big crowd of men looking for some action congregate at a local stadium to witness one of the most ancient forms of wrestling, the nubian fights. After having spent quite some time living with the nubians and delighting ourselves with their incredibly warm affection, it is incredibly hard to associate them to the word "fight". In any case, even though it is a sport of friction, that doesn't mean it is necessarily violent. The goal of the fight is basically to force the opponent to fully lie on the ground but without using any kind of physical agression. No punching, no kicking. Originally, the nubians used to fight naked, with ther bodies fully covered in ashes, and their hands impregnated with some kind of oil from the cow that would allow them to seize the opponent better. However, It has been decades since the repressive government of Al-Bashir has banned nudity and since then, they wear ordinary football shorts and T-shirts or jerseys.

The happy return to Sudan

Translation courtesy of Clara Bonfiglio

Several posts ago, as I wrote about our journey across Sudan, I have dedicated a great part of my tales to express the immeasurable hospitality of the Sudanese people, who in every corner of the country touched our hearts in such a way that made us stay there quite a lot more than we expected. Our stay in Sudan, as in every other country, started as one of ordinary travelers but ended up becoming pretty much like a family visit. Such is the case, that by the time we left Khartoum, we already knew we were going to return soon. Ahmed, our wonderful friend, was getting married in August, and considered that our presence in his wedding was essential. That's why he decided to treat us both with a plane ticket to Khartoum from wherever we were so we could attend his wedding. We accepted without hesitation because this is what travelling is all about, being surprised, changing direction, establishing bonds around the world and expanding our own family.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Towards black Africa

Translation courtesy of Juan Vanecek

Once we arrived in Lodwar we finally left the "sandpit" we had gone through to enter Kenya along the west coast of the lake Turkana. In this little city we thought the worst had been over, but leaving Lodwar would only show us that we were just moving on to a new tough stage in our journey to Black Africa.