Despite the southern Sudanese town of Dinder feeling far poorer than parts of the north of the country – indeed, making parts of Khartoum feel quite affluent and extremely clean – the people were the most incredibly hospitable, generous and effortlessly selfless I have ever met.
We were taken to a bakery by a friend we had made in the town. It was midday and there was a crowd of people outside the bakery, looking fairly impatient and disgruntled. We waited along with them for half an hour so. Then, just as the bars at the front of the shop were opening to pass bags of bread out in exchange for SDG, we were pulled in through the back entrance for a private tour of the bakery.
It was industrial-sized and quite impressive, with about thirty men working inside. We were taken around the various ovens and other machines for the few different types of bread they baked here, and met and took photos with many of the bakers.
At the end of everything, we got two ginormous bags of bread hoisted upon us. We put our hands in our pockets to pull out some SDG but the bakers refused to accept anything. We put up a good and long fight but there was eventually nothing we could do.
So we left with the feeling that of all people in the world who should be giving their bread away, these men were at the very bottom of the list. But that it was this very fact that made the gesture all the more beautiful.
© Gabriella Zoe Harris. All rights reserved.