William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

KHARTOUM DUST

We've seen the clouds so full of dust
To seal the barrack box is a must
But even then the dust gets in
It penetrates the hair and skin

Some used to put their gas masks on
And used the filters all night long
These filters too, they soon clogged up
Nose mouth blue Dickie made breathing tough!

Haboob crossing the Nile at Khartoum

I had some questions from friends on our operating environment, specifically about dust/sand, etc. After all, how bad could it be right? It's hard to describe but think of it as a hot, moist, abrasive blizzard with gale force winds driving minute particles of sand, almost like talcum powder fed thru a sand blaster, not the pure white grains of sand you get on a good beach. The light haboobs are like a fog or haze that extends overnight and so you wake up to a grey gritty day that lasts until the next night. Unlike fog, the sand gets into your eyes and makes daily tasks difficult. The worst ones last a few hours and are extremely intense; however you can see them coming and the next day is usually bright and clear. The picture here is a major haboob crossing the Nile at Khartoum.

Photo and comments by Major Sandi Banerjee, CD, QOR of C., whose photo also appears in the DOLLS OF JOY issuing African Comfort Dolls for ICROSS CANADA to children in the Sudan including a Blue Beret Angel Doll for a special nun.