Everyone I talk to about our excavation asks whether it’s safe to be in Sudan. There’s sometimes a veiled look as people suggest that we should “stay safe”, and I’m sure what some are really thinking is that we're just crazy to be going to a place that many people know only for its wars and devastation.
For the moment, though, Sudan is relatively calm, and northern Sudan where we are working is entirely peaceful. The international news has reported extensively about the current conflict in South Sudan, with fighting between political factions over control of the government and a significant displacement (and worse) of people there. This is extremely unfortunate for South Sudan. But since it is a struggle entirely within South Sudan, it has had little effect on life in Sudan. In fact, given current tensions in Egypt to the north, Sudan is one of the more stable places in the region.
On a personal level, though, it’s always a pleasure to return to the really warm welcome of colleagues and friends here.