Henna Day with the Ladies (Sudan #8)

I was treated to another henna party! Sanosi’s mom and wife, Masa, organised the henna party and we had some fun! About 15 women got together and I got henna designed on my arms and feet. I felt really bad that the young woman had to work with my ugly feet. After 7000 km of cycling and many sessions of rock climbing, they looked even worse than before! Considering what she was working with, she was very gracious. The design was beautiful and she did it so fast (probably to minimise the time working on my toes).

While my hands and feet were sprawled out for 30 minutes while the henna dried, the women made coffee from scratch. As in, besides actually growing the plant. The ladies roasted coffee beans that they bought from the local market in a large pan, which sat on hot coals. After roasting, they ground it to a powder, added water, elachi, cinnamon sticks and cloves and placed it back on the coals until it boiled. It was D.I.V.I.N.E. Ginger was added for the second round before I was treated to a Sudanese sauna. I showed them photos of our family, us in Germany and South Africa and our trip. They all loved it.

Of course, Simon unfortunately could not witness any of this as women and men (especially men outside the family) are strictly separated in Sudan. However, I served him coffee upstairs, so he got a taste of what my day was like.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the fuss over me, the coffee and chatting with the ladies. I find that when Sudanese women are around men, they are very shy. When it is just the women together, however, their strong, bubbly and funny characters come out swinging and we enjoy many laughs together. They are also very gentle and affectionate. They treat their friends and families children like their own. It was very touching to watch how these women support and treat each other. I was so grateful to be a part of their circle, if only for a day.

Henna Party Sudan

For photos from Sudan, see here.

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