On Sunday 17 June 2012 I am flying many thousands of miles across land and sea to Africa.
This will be second visit to see Practical Action’s work on the ground. In August 2011 I spent two weeks in Kenya. On my last day I wrote of how my time there had “coloured my world with rainbows of experiences of Africa.” It’s strange, one year later, how far away those rainbows seem now. My trip was an eventful one – I fell ill and was taken to hospital, and then towards the end of my time there, my grandfather Michael, who had lived with Alzheimer’s for many years, passed away. I look back on those two weeks, and remember not only rainbows of Africa, but the kaleidoscopic whirl of my own emotions during the most intense fortnight of my life.
I am expecting something similarly intense in Sudan I think. But I know it shall be vastly different. The political situation in Sudan is fragile at best and I am a little fearful of what I shall experience. Only last week I read news reports about a young Sudanese woman, no more than 20 years old, who has been sentenced to death by stoning after she confessed to adultery – a confession which she only made after being beaten violently by her brother. The injustice of this fills me with fury, but also a profound curiosity. What sort of country can this be? I don’t yet know. My intrepid colleagues at Practical Action have told me of the “specialness” of Sudan. There’s something particularly unique about it. And I can’t wait to discover it.
I shall be blogging, tweeting and facebooking throughout my time there, so please do follow my updates, and keep in touch!