Saturday, September 12, 2009

Goodbye for now, Khartoum

As this post is aired this morning, we will (hopefully) be preparing to board Ethiopian Airlines here in Khartoum. I say "hopefully" as in Africa anything is possible. In fact, with African air travel anything is probable! We have had to fly out early as my husband's visa will expire within the day. We 're going on leave a month earlier and will be back during the first week of October. When we return, my husband will obtain his resident's permit which will be a blessing.
Billy and Sweet Pea are so much tamer now than when I first arrived. They are used to me and I'll miss them while I'm on leave
My first concern when I realised we'd be leaving the city before the General Manager (the budgies' owner) returns from the USA, was who would take care of Billy and Sweetpea? They have become so used to me and are a lot tamer than they were three weeks ago. You can read about our birdsitting stint here. There was no way under the hot African sun, that I was leaving dear little Billy and Sweet Pea with the building caretaker. (Who knows, he may disappear for ten days again and then who'd look after the birds?) Apparently he'd looked after them before and the feral cats got one, leaving only one survivor, Billy. The owner since bought another budgie, Sweet Pea which makes up the present pair. Of course, for me, leaving these two with him is not an option at all. I asked hubby if his technician, Marcial - a kind-hearted Philipino gentleman - would take care of the birds. He asked Marcial this week who said it would only be a pleasure. My husband contacted the owner who was also very happy that Marcial would be taking over the birdsitting duties until he returns to the Sudan.
On Friday, which is Sunday in Sudan, we took the birds across the city to Marcial's home. My husband and Marcial have also been feeding a stray dog at the workshop. When I heard about it, I began to place table scraps and into a plastic container for the dog, whom we've named Curry. On Monday my husband took photos of Curry who was petrified everytime the flash went off, but so hungry that he kept coming back to his food. I cannot post the photos as the dog is so thin that it makes me cry to see him. However, Marcial will continue to feed Curry in our absence. I have given him a couple of tubs of rice and meat scraps (thank goodness my husband is a carnivore!) to add to his leftovers while we're gone.
When we returned to the flat yesterday, we packed our respective cabin luggage. This is the first time I'd ever travelled with handluggage only, but it makes it much simpler to do this when flying across the African continent.
On [this] Saturday evening John, Debbie and the children will meet us at the airport and then it's a mere 160kms/100miles home. I'm looking forward to seeing our family, grandchildren and pets again. After attending church in the morning, we'll have a braai (South African for BBQ) in the garden. A blessedly quiet Sunday with all our loved ones again.


  1. Congrats on getting to go HOME, Jo.. I know you'll be thrilled to be there and also thrilled to see your family and all of your furry friends.

    WOW--I'm happy for you Jo... Keep us posted. Hope you have a safe trip.

  2. Sure hope you have a better than normal African flight. Glad you found a good bird sitter. How nice to go home to family and critters.

  3. Wanneer jy "comment" lees, is jy al seker terug by jou huis. Hoop julle het 'n baie voorspoedige vlug gehad! Liefde, Ida

  4. Take care and enjoy your leave. It will be nice to be with family again. You are so kind to poor old Curry. Hope he fattens up and the birds are looked after well. Its a great idea only having cabin luggage if you can manage it.

  5. It's wonderful that you found a good caretaker for Billy and Sweet Pea and also that you wil be able to spend time with your son and his family. Have a blessed time.

  6. Safe journey and have a wonderful visit.

  7. If I understand well, you will go back to Khartoum, is your husband working there for a long time ?
    I wouldn't have left the birds with somebody I don't trust ! It's certainly nice to see your family again !


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