SUDAN

February 14, 1978 [Valentines Day . . . )
At last night's party in the Club under the benign supervision of operator Sammani, I had met a Dr. de Konig, a Belgian/English Economist with his Ugandan wife. At first, they were a bit hostile, but later, I danced with her and found out she was a socio-politics major. The hotel manager, Ahmad, promised to loan me an important book, and the three of them asked me to take some mail and post it in Nairobi. The most memorable part of the evening was seeing the dozens of hands tightly clamped around the closely spaced iron bars of the fence of young people trying to look in on us; later they followed the example and had a dance and drink party on the street in front of the Club. We ended around 01:00 with a good buffet, and I was happy to get in bed with the prospect of an early flight departure for Nairobi, Kenya.
I woke up at 06:30 and waited for the Arab to finish shaving. I was annoyed again at the spill of curly shavings he left behind. I packed, drank tea, wrote some nice comments in the guestbook, took a final photograph and gave Ahmad my remaining 10 pounds to divide amongst the staff. There was neither book nor mail as promised last night, so I left by car for the airport with Dr. Jim Todd, an agriculturist from Dublin.
We had to wait a long time, which I spent talking with the N.Z. couple I had met earlier, who had been traveling since last June. He returned the 10 pounds I had loaned them yesterday, which I eventually gave to a poor woman traveling with a "slimeball" carrying a guitar. I also was attacked by a Californian woman, who had been on the road for two years, and was extremely talkative and freaked out about African diseases.
Although there was no problem at customs, we were searched manually before getting on the plane at 09:30.
Everyone seemed very happy to depart Juba, but I had a melancholic last look across the beautiful bend in the river Nile with its Bailey bridge and nearby forest where I had gone hunting some time before.

NOTE: in retrospect (2007) this was a brief window in time in which the Sudan enjoyed peace after reconciliation between North and South and before the massacres of Darfur.

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