There is a thing we’ve got it clear, when we are in front of big changes in our lives and we are full of doubts and confusion… we have to go to the desert.
Not long ago we were acrossing the Sahara from Sudan to Egypt, just before returning back to Europe after 4 years traveling the world in our motorcycle, feeling sometimes sad for ending a stage so important of our lives and suddenly happy remembering that the time to start with a new project totally different is getting close. So, although Africa had left us exhausted, we received with open arms to world’s largest desert because this was the perfect environment for reflections and prepare ourselves for the shock of the changes.
We had learned and experienced so much for the world by now that the only thing we needed was loneliness to digest it, so when we get to Dongola we did not think much about crossing the Nile (in the last bridge that we would have for almost 800 km until Aswan) when we were told that the West side of the river was open recently a new and very lonely road. Over there for hundreds of km we would meet no one, only 2 or 3 small settlements of descendants of Nubians who live in the shore of the Nile without electricity or running water, practically the same way they did for thousands of years in this isolated region. Those were the perfect Oasis for resting and try to find some fuel (we had faith someone had keep at home some liters for feed electricity generators and they would sell us … or give us in exchange for a shirt or a slippers not need more, bartering is quite useful and logical in the desert). So there we went and all would be perfect as long as we do not miss the path without signpost and camouflaged in the vastness we diverted to them.
But the desert is not just that psychologist that helps us to organize all the chaos of our head, its main ability is to teach.
If the route is a University without walls or schedules where you never know when or where arrive a new lesson, where teachers can be a storm, a Mountain or breackdown of our motorbike, then the desert would be the director, the professor of professors, though sometimes lessons are a bit strange.
Desert is synonymous with survival, everyone, animal or plant that there lives is an example of how to take advantage of a minimum resources and continue to exist over the centuries. Starting from this perspective is already clear that there is much learn from it, but for those who live in the desert there is something else, survival of the species and culture depends not only of how to know to use the little resources, the key is in the reproduction and this is also an important lesson that pass from one generation to another. That why when we present ourself to those Nubians guys as a couple with 8 years of relationship and with no children the understand something should be wrong, something that maybe our host in Soleb, Bachir, his wife and 4 children, could help us to fix it.
While Ivana spent the day with the wife and daughters preparing food, bringing water and drawing with henna his hands and eyebrows, Manu was with Bachir from house to house asking neighbors for some gasoline, but both of us all the time we were asked why we have not children, and all day we try to make them understand that is because a personal decision. But no way, for those desert people who believe that the number of human is low and sensitive to disappear as specie in just one bad year, for those people who don’t imagine that exist places like India and China, to not have children is not an option for a couple, is an obligation with your community. The fun part was when understood how people like Bachir and his family managed this kind of problems, and this was when suddenly we realized that they were applying on us the protocol for emergency in this cases. For a couple who dont have children to visit the doctor is the plan B if the first phase of treatment gives no results. Everything begins at home, first preparing the body, and the best way to do it is with double ration of foul, main Sudanese meal. The beans that Ivana was all day washing it seems to had today an important mission ahead. Bachir insisted that we should eat more and more, reminding us the important role of the foul before sex and making us think that he was no longer joking, he was really honest every time he said us that we will not leave Sudan without making a baby, and finally we believe he was really serious about it when it get the time for go to bed. Bachir took us to the room he prepared, then he went inside with us and lock the door. As we are going to the room the family is wishing us luck in our duty. Bachir seat in a small chair in front of the bed and invite us to lay down and to start because the professor was ready to give us his most precious lesson.
Definitely for Bachir and his family we should be doing something wrong, and he would teach how to make a child in the desert. Bachir thought maybe we had learned a lot of things traveling the world, but not the most important thing. For desert men there is no worst nightmare that to imagine the place where they were born ending like those Nubians ruins abandoned, temples and pyramids, they have all around. This fear make us to remember when we visited Kolmanskop in Namibia, the most impressive ghost town of the world which you can discover by clicking here.