Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.

Honeymoon in Darfur – Picnic on the Wadi

Water is life and we had a sufficient amount of it while we were in Kass, but it was hard for me to imagine where it came from in this parched desert landscape. When our colleagues suggested we go for a picnic on the wadi (“river” in Arabic), we jumped at the opportunity to spend some time outside of work and to see something new. We knew that we would be out of radio signal range from the other NGO’s , and there was a chance our truck might get stuck in the sand, but we threw security concerns to the wind because we were thirsty for some leisure time. It was a chance to see the so-called “river” that to me was just a stretch of sand that threatened to stall our truck each time we drove over it. The idea that there was actually water underneath that dry landscape was almost mythical to me. I was curious and intrigued to see it up close.

Me at a water hole on the wadi. Kass, Darfur.

The first thing I did when we got to our picnic spot was to go to one of the water holes that someone had dug. It was no more than four feet deep and had several inches of water in it. In the distance I can see other people at their hand dug holes doing laundry or collecting water into jugs that they balanced on their heads back home. There was a river after all just below the expanse of all that sand. Amazing!

Boys passing on a donkey carrying a copy of the Koran.

As we sat on the sand enjoying each other’s company and the few snacks we brought along (local bread, peanuts and cokes), the foot traffic on the wadi seemed to be mostly of children. Pictured above is a group of boys who must have been either on their way to or back from the mosque since all of them had a Koran in their hands. They had a donkey with them, too, and I wondered how they decided which one amongst them got to ride it (and it gave me an idea for one of our programs which I’ll post about soon).

A girl with a bundle of greens.

Playful boys tumbling...

...and tumbling...

...and chasing.

The afternoon sun began to set, thankfully lowering the temperature and giving us more shade. We relaxed into a traditional game played in the sand with rocks. Well, my husband played since I was too distracted by the activities around me to listen closely to the rules. I took it all in and before I knew it, dusk was upon us – our signal to head home. I felt so light and peaceful on the way home, looking out the window at the surreal scenery as it grew darker. It was unbelievable that I was actually there on a wadi in the middle of Africa. It was as though I was watching myself inside a documentary film of far away places, places where one could only dream to go. And yet there I was.

A traditional game in the sand with rocks.

Driving home at dusk.

See more of this series at:

Honeymoon in Darfur – Our Humble Abode

Honeymoon in Darfur – Setting Up and Settling In

Honeymoon in Darfur – Latrine Rehabilitation

Honeymoon in Darfur – Women’s Center

Honeymoon in Darfur – New Shelters

Honeymoon in Darfur – Livestock and Agriculture

Honeymoon in Darfur – Curious Kids in Gusa Village

What was it like when you traveled somewhere you never imagined finding yourself?

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5 comments on “Honeymoon in Darfur – Picnic on the Wadi

  1. longrunner
    March 30, 2012

    I like that last photo!

    • Wanderlustress
      March 30, 2012

      Thanks! It seems odd to call a photo taken in a conflict zone “romantic” but that’s how I feel about this one in particular.

      • longrunner
        March 30, 2012

        Well the whole idea of a river underground is really cool. What a unique experience!

  2. Bama
    March 29, 2012

    Now I understand why most wadis look like a barren land. The fact that there’s actually a river underneath the wadi is so amazing!

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2012 by in Honeymoon in Darfur, Sudan and tagged , , , , , , .

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