Sudan Visit: daughter of Darfur

Darfur, | June 27th, 2012
It is not only nature which rules life here in Darfur, but politics. The Practical Action team here is required daily to draw upon great reserves of patience and humility and tolerance to get our vital work done. It is essential that my colleagues in Darfur preserve good relationships with both government bodies and rebel forces in order for us to remain safely in the area. On my final day in Darfur the rebels are fighting in many areas outside El Fasher. I am forbidden to travel to the field.

As someone who has grown up with so much freedom, the limitations and restrictions are difficult to accept without getting very angry indeed. And I did get angry at times. I cannot express my awe and admiration for my colleagues who are able to cope with and succeed in such difficult circumstances every single day.

I did encounter another kind of freedom in Darfur though. Away from the pressures of a commercial, capitalist, consumerist society, I felt liberated. In the UK, I am a slave to it. In Darfur I felt free. And happy. I was not expecting that.

As I get ready to leave El Fasher, my colleague Amel – an amazing force of a woman who is not scared of anything – tells me “my dear, you are my daughter of Darfur and I am your mother”. I am now back in Khartoum and in 48 hours I will be in London. But I hope some part of me will remain always the daughter of Darfur.

With Amel Ibrahim, Project Manager in Practical Action Darfur

With Amel Ibrahim, Project Manager in Practical Action Darfur

2 responses to “Sudan Visit: daughter of Darfur”

  1. Neal Says:

    Hi Ella.
    I have loved hearing about your trip, and loved the stuff you have written. It is so eloquent and communicates the true heart of what you have experienced without becoming self indulgent or sugary. The experiences remind me of my trip in 1981 to Central and Northern Nigeria. The sights, colour, sounds, smells, and the heat. However the writing you have undertaken far surpasses anything I could do to communicate my experience. Very well done

  2. Ella Jolly Says:

    Hi Neal
    Thank you so much for this – I’m really happy you have been following my trip and have enjoyed my thoughts on what I saw. It’s my first day back in the office today and it’s hard to concentrate after having experienced so many incredible things in Sudan.
    Hope you are well,

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