This week we were given a pleasant surprise with a visit from our old friend Aengus Stanley from Ireland. Except that Aengus hadn't come from Ireland this time but Kenya. He is an old head on young shoulders and currently enjoying that idyllic time of life between graduating from university and facing the real world.
We first met Aengus and his friend Stephen on the road down through Egypt. In Aswan where we booked the vehicle onto the boat to take us into Sudan, Aengus and Stephen were waiting for the same ferry. This boat runs once a week (if the water is high enough for the quay-side) and is the only communication link between the two countries, so it isn't surprising that travelers should meet.
We helped each other through the tortuous border processes and parted in Wadi Halfi at the Sudan end of the crossing. A few miles and a couple of deserts down the road, Aengus and Stephen caught up with us again in Khartoum when they looked us up at our recovery ward in the Blue Nile Sailing Club.
Stephen had university to go back to and left Aengus to travel on to Kenya where he found work with an NGO building houses in the slums. His visit to us was part of a final tour around the East Africa community block before heading back to Nairobi and a flight home.
If there are any youngsters reading this (anyone under seventy) who fancies seeing the world with nothing other than their wits and a tank of fuel (ok, he had a toothbrush and sleeping bag as well), then have a look at Aengus' blog and start planning. The real thing beats The Discovery Channel any day!
When Aengus arrives home after a year and a half, his mother should be well pleased. His washing won't amount to more than a pair of shorts and two t-shirts!