BACK TO THE NARRATIVE. The week was off to a tasty start with a big SVP family outing to the Syrian restaurant. Not only was the food as sturdy and handsome as ever, but there was also enough cutlery to play a few adrenaline fuelled games of How Many Spoons? If you're new to this game, let me explain. One simply asks, "how many spoons?", and whoever is playing/eavesdropping observes their current surroundings and counts the number of spoons. What's great is, you can play even when there aren't any spoons. In terms of excellence, one might compare it to Truth Or Scream. But I digress.
The next few days weren't terribly exciting, unless you are someone who feels very passionately about sitting in offices for several hours hoping that your long-promised timetable will be handed to you. I'm afraid I am not one of those people. Happily, good things emerged in the evenings. On one night, Mr. SVP Coordinator picked me up on his motorbike and took me to a 'reggae party' with a few of the other volunteers. This was all well and good, except the supposed reggae band didn't play/show up (no one seems to be sure which), so instead we enjoyed an hour or so of some Sudanese boy band in a mysterious part of the city, had some tea and free food (again, not sure why), and then headed back to the SVP flat for chats and to give some of Khartoum's beloved mosquitoes their nightly offering of hemoglobin. The absolute bastards.
Thankfully, we only went as far as a nearby bus station, where we could then get a sensible mode of transport to an Egg and Chip Butty Party at the residence of The Omdurman Ladz. On the way, I found a weird plane-related gift at a perfume shop. Not only is it both 'flash' and 'lovely, but also 'strong' and 'interesting'. I don't know how I found the strength not to buy whatever the hell it was. There was also a very Sudanese football match going on between some YOUTHS. All good stuff.
No. The museum itself seems to be generally used to house the President's presents, although there are some pretty cool things. A bit of the moon presented to Sudan for instance. Useful.
I taught two entire two-hour classes the next day, which was good if exhausting. My students all seem lovely, even if they do constantly laugh at my favourite Sudanese food options. It was also the day that The Tedious Englishman returned from his travels to the north. Hooray for company, and for Barack Obama torch presents. We ate out to celebrate the fact that he was still alive after his adventures, and managed to get ourselves in the amjad of a very interesting driver. He was an Eritrean christian who told us he and his wife were arrested on their wedding day and spent their 'honeymoon' in jail. For six months. He was very jolly though, and laughed for about a hundred years when I said he was lucky to have five daughters. Apparently, I am hilarious. Hmmm.
Since then, I have mostly been lesson planning and teaching (like a real person with a real job, at long last) and spending far too much money on chocolate milk, because I find it both delicious and inspiring (slogan: BE BRAVE). I also got a load more free tomatoes and bananas from the fruit&veg man round the corner, which is still making me feel guilty. JUST TAKE MY MONEY FRUIT&VEG MAN! TAKE IT! In other news, we now have three frogs living in the house (the 3rd is still unnamed - suggestions welcome), and yesterday, it was ever so slightly, just a sniff-of-a-whisper raining. It. Was. Magical.
To conclude - all is well. Teaching is happening. Sweating is happening. This week will most likely involve much more of both of those things, and who knows what else? As usual, I shall be the last to know.
I hope you are all doing tremendously well, wherever you may be.