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Old 07-17-2018, 11:52 PM   #164
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

The Excelsior Experience.
In 1977 I took a job in Sudan as we had drought in Queensland. When I and 6 others arrived we were accommodated at the Excelsior Hotel, Khartoum. This would have been built in the days when the Brits ran Sudan before independence. At the time it was still pro western. The northern people were Arabic and Muslim and the southern were Negro. We worked in the northern sector and sprayed cotton along the “Blue Nile”. The capital of Sudan is Khartoum and that’s where the Nile Rivers meet. Blue Nile enters from the east and White Nile from the west.
The cotton area is known as the Gazera. I’m told it is now mostly destroyed now because fighting between rebel groups. I’ve consulted Wikipedia but there were too many wars to know which destroyed the Gazera.
On arriving at the Excelsior Hotel I noticed scaffolding erected in parts. Nobody was working on it. When I departed 3 months later nothing had changed. Western countries use steel tube for scaffold. The Asians use bamboo lashed together. That looks quite impressive. The Sudanese use 4x4 inch timber, secured by “G”clamps and hundreds of them. I would not have felt comfortable working on it.
Also working in the hotel was a telephone tech on the 4th floor at a junction box. There were wires everywhere. He sat on a stool and worked away. When I departed three months later the same bloke was still working away at the same junction box and wires were still everywhere. All an eye opener.
Some things happened slowly. Some times things just didn’t happen at all. Some standards of management were poor and some good. The farmers were hard working and grew good crops.They didn’t have machinery and used only hand tools. Our accommodation was below western standards but very good by their standards. They did their very best.

Khartoum. Mixed experiences and mixed standards. When the day warmed up many parts reeked of urine. The Brits had planted “London Plain Trees” along the banks of the Nile and in places around the city. Magnificent trees, large and majestic. An all steel boat was tied up on the river. I always understood it to be General Gordon’s but after researching it may have been from the “Nile Expedition”.
You see, General Gordon was sent to rescue Egyptians. Gordon was impounded by Sudanese rebels and a rescue team was sent to rescue Gordon. 1200 British soldiers and a team to support them of which included 400 Canadians to navigate the river because of the difficulty with rapids, swamps and water falls.
It all gets complex and I don’t claim to be a historian so if anybody needs further information they should visit Wikipedia. Read my signature.
To wrap up.I enjoyed Sudan as a learning experience. When one works in a third world country one should not expect western standards. Just go along with things and accept them as they are, you won’t change things. You enjoy the friendship and company of other expats and indeed some of the locals.
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I know many things,
But I don't know everything,
Sometimes I forget things.

And there are times when I have a long memory.

Last edited by; 07-18-2018 at 12:00 AM. is offline   Reply With Quote