Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mission Dustbusters in Khartoum!

Above is only one of the areas where the dust entered the apartment.
Yucky hey?
Yesterday I posted about the beautiful sideboard our neighbour, and a skilled carpenter, Mohamed, made for us. You can scroll down to read about it if you wish.

This week Grant invited Mohamed up for a Coca Cola and to discuss another project with him. (Nothing is rushed here in the Sudan - copious cups of tea, fresh fruit juice or glasses of Coke are consumed while discussing issues!) Grant has asked Mohamed to build two doors for us. These will be at the top of the first flight of [down]stairs and at the bottom of the next flight up.

The reason we'd like to close off the [open] staircase is that we are on a mission to keep out all manner of dust from now on. Before I arrived in August last year, Grant blocked up all the openings under the unused doors which lead out onto the unused front balcony. Now with the onset of summer which brings severe dust storms, we decided to do it again, but this time we'd ensure that NO dust would come into the apartment. Ever again!

For the past three days we've removed twenty-six floor-length curtains and five terrylene (net) curtains. I've washed them (I had to do each one three times!) and dried them on the line. It's so hot here that by the time the next curtain had been washed, the first one on the line had dried.

Once the windows and walls were exposed, we realised how much dust actually clung to them. I vacuumed and washed each one after which Grant sealed all the window frames with masking tape. We never open windows here because of the airconditioning. While I finished vacuuming and washing the floors, Grant hung the curtains up again.

The newly washed curtains hang against clean walls and windows

The outer door (never used) in the spare room. Grant sealed the bottom, taped the rest up and re-hung the curtains

Behind this board were broken and missing louvres. No dust will ever penetrate this barricade again!
The worst culprit was in the entrance hall window. The louvre panes were cracked, broken or had fallen out. As the weather comes directly from that side, most of the dust entered the flat through these. Grant boarded the window up completely and taped it down for good measure. Ha!
Two doors will be fitted at the top and bottom of the stairs in the photo
Mohamed has already done the measurements and bought the wood for the doors. He is hard at work and we think that our doors will be ready by the weekend. I will be taking photos of him at work in the area above as he fits the doors.


  1. Oh Jo, I feel so badly for you with all that dust. A lot of work to keep everything clean. Hope your new doors work out for you.
    Sunny :)

  2. To what great lengths you've gone through to keep out the dust. I remember in southern New Mexico how it blew into my trailer in measurable inches. Now I just call it velvet.

  3. One of the ngative aspects of living in a arid area. We have to barricade our homes in a similar manner, but to keep cool air inside during the warm humid summers. It is amazing how our plights so different, yield a similar solution.

  4. It takes a woman's touch and a handy hubby to get things sorted. Hope the Dust Busters are successful. It must have been a lot of work washing all those curtains, walls and windows.

  5. Don't worry Jo... when the dust can't get in, it just makes itself smaller and finds its way in anyway... sorry...

  6. Hi Jo, Looks like you are getting your little home in North Africa in pretty good shape... You surely are working very hard!!!!! I'm sure it's hard to keep the dust out there.

    How is the camera today?


  7. Wow, what a lot of work you've done to get rid of the dust inside and then to keep it our permanently with doors and sealed doorways. You are very dedicated to having a pleasant, clean home environment. May the Lord bless you and your husband in your home in Khartoum, Jo.

    Mohamed did a great job on the sideboard! He is indeed a master carpenter.

  8. Thanks Sunny;) I believe the dust will stay out now - well 99% of it!

    Hi Gaelyn;) ooh, so you know dust! I forget you've been in desert countries as well.

    Hi Grant;) the beauty of warring against the dust is that our antiquated airconditioners are working so well now. We also need to keep the heat out which has arrived already.

    Hi diane;) it was a lot of hard work but well worth it.

    Ha Mike;) you're right. But the smaller particles are not sooo bad...

    Hi Betsy;) Phew I can feel it today. After four days of physical labour (we did this on Mirriam's off day) I am quite exhausted Ha! I've not worked with the camera again - hope to really inspect the features and read up on the manual this weekend. (((Hugs))) Jo

    Thanks for the wonderful blessing Pat. Mohamed sure did a good job and he's busy at the moment with our doors.

  9. Goodness me, Jo - sounds like you had a hectically busy day of cleaning - just reading about it made me feel tired lol but at least you had hubby there to help you. I just cannot imagine what it must be like to have that dust.

  10. Hi Lynda, I agree: this dust is not something I have in my home/garden/street or town back home. I am STILL exhausted, but thank goodness tomorrow (Friday) is Sunday in the Sudan... Have a wonderful weekend. (((Hugs))) Jo

  11. The dust there must be terrible ! I once was in a sandstorm in the Sahara and we just could make it into a house which of course was so dusty that even I usually blind against dust saw it ! It goes everywhere !

  12. Hi Jo, that Sahara dust has blown all the way over here on occasion and covered cars and windows in a reddish grime so you have my sympathy in trying to keep it out of your home!The apartment needed a woman's hand, the doors will be a great addition and the local man will do a great job I am sure.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo