WELCOME to Khartoum!!! (Or wherever in Sudan you will eventually end up -- I didn't actually READ your bio, I haven't really had time and I didn't actually want to....) I would like to introduce myself, my name is Michel and I will be your Sponsor here at the Embassy! (I'm not sure what you did to piss someone off but they must REALLY hate you!!) Please let me know whatever it is that I can do for you to prepare you for your arrival here. (Please note that I won't actually DO anything, but I might tell someone about it and maybe they might help you...but chances are slim I'll even read your response. You should probably prepare yourself.)
First, let me tell you a little about myself (my favorite subject...EVER). I "work" here at the Embassy in Khartoum and I am in charge of.....something here....it'll come to me....well, it's probably something cool - but I can't remember right off hand -- But I'm sure it is some sort of fab! You will work in the USAID office and you will be in charge of USAID stuff....whatever it is that you guys actually DO here. I assume you give out USAID to USAID needers. Whatever.
So enough about work. Here are some critical things you need to know about Khartoum to help you prepare for your posting to Sudan:
(1) It is Hot. I'm talking Africa Hot. Even though it is on average 119 to 198 degrees outside on any given day, you will be expected to wear clothes to work at the Embassy. May I suggest you purchase some disposable ones. What the Embassy does NOT tell you is that the running water in your house -- although it will SAY "hot" and "cold" - in actuality have two tempartures that are indicators for "Volcanic" and "Shit! that is hot!" As such, your clothes will shrink with every wash (or at least that is what I keep telling myself since I can barely button my pants that are all now capris and my shirts barely cover my arms and I now refer to them as "shrugs").
(2) The AC in the houses and offices have two settings: Icy and Not On (or Holy Shit! It is hot in here). Your AC will work fine during the day while you are at work and when GSO would conceivably send someone over to fix it. It will, however, turn itself off at exactly 7 pm (what I now refer to as "the bitching hour") when GSO goes home and pretends that they cannot hear your calls.
(3) The Sudanese like to pretend like they have all kinds of cakes and cookies to offer. DO NOT BE FOOLED by these assertions. That shit is NOT cake! You may want to pack extra boxes of cake mix. I don't CARE if you don't like cake...some of us do Jackass! It would only be polite of you to bring your sponsor a cake and perhaps some brownies. I'm just saying....What!? Were you born in a BARN!?
(4) The Sudanese do not use toilet paper like we use toilet paper. (You will find a roll of toilet paper in the middle of the table - that is your napkin) Therefore, it is best for you to bring your own and to ALWAYS have some with you. You should also check to ensure that you can flush any toilet before you use it. I'm just saying, SOMETIMES people can be caught off guard in certain situations. Why just last week when I was in Port Sudan I had to use the restroom (Please also note that the Sudanese function similar to camels. They neither drink or eat and never ever have to go to the bathroom. If you do not speak up, you will die in the middle of a town inhabited by demon cats.....) Anyway, do not assume that said restroom that they lead you to for your use is actually suitable for your use. Under no circumstances should you lift the lid and check - there is inevitably scary shit in there! I still have flashbacks and will likely need to see out professional help to get past this one. As such, I suggest you bring diapers. I know I am.
(5) You may want to update your living will. After approximately three months in country and numerous near death driving experiences, I have updated mine - because there is no way that I want to LINGER here in Sudan. I have also included the instructions "do not resuscitate if ugly." I worry that if Josh were not here, someone might not know that.
(6) Mail comes randomly. You may want to mail yourself some boxes circa one week before you leave so that you are not despondent when mail arrives and you don't have anything. People need mail!!
Well, I hope this introductory letter has been helpful. Again, Please let me know how I may be of further assistance. I may or may not be here when you arrive. Chances are pretty good I will have been declared Persona Non-Grata by then, and will be back in the states. As such, I'm sure you understand that I will, therefore, be under no obligation to actually speak to you.
Take care and best regards.
Sometimes? I'm Judgmental. Also, Seattle!
13 hours ago