Bedtime in Darfur

My bed in Nyala, South Darfur, before it started raining
My bed in Nyala, South Darfur, before it started raining

At the end of a long day standing in the blistering sun without water watching the Sudanese president addressing 10,000 people in El Fasher and then 20,000 people in Nyala, what you want is a bed. If it is a bed in the cool air of a Nyala courtyard so much the better. As you stretch out, a gentle breeze plays across your face easing you off to sleep.

Then, if you are a journalist on a press trip, Sudan TV sets up an editing suite next to your head. At approximately midnight someone shakes your leg offering you dinner. And at 2am the heavens open forcing you to drag your rapidly-becoming-less-comfortable bed into the kitchen. And all the while unknown insects are devouring your legs.

In short, not the best night I’ve ever had. (Although I managed about three hours sleep, The Financial Times – in the bed next to mine – had none so I shouldn’t complain.)


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