Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Isam, Our Driver in Khartoum

Isam was our driver in Khartoum; this photo was made the first day we were in country. We were at the airport to try and get visas for the flight crew. For some reason mine was held up and I didn’t get my permanent visa for several weeks.

When Isam saw the camera he struck this pose for me. His English was limited but most of the time we would end up in front of where we wanted to go. Sometime it would take 2 or 3 tries with many signs, hand signals, head nods and “yes..yes…I understand", all the while you knew he didn’t understand.

Khartoum traffic was our major source of entertainment while in The Sudan. Any description of it will not do justice; it must be lived to be believed. It was a mix of cars, buses, motorcycle jitneys, donkey carts, donkeys and even a camel or two. People walking along side and in the road, some herding sheep or goats, men sitting almost in the road on rugs drinking tea, and families living in tents by the road ways. No one paid the slightest attention to stop signs, stop lights, lanes or even one way roads. If there were an opening in the traffic some one would fill it. Yet traffic moved very well and there were very few accidents. The only time traffic came to a standstill was when the police would show up and try to direct the flow. Then it would come to a complete stop. Go figure.

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