I hadn't really noticed until today, but it seems all the hedgehogs have gone. Ever since I arrived in Darfur at the beginning of the dry season, the place has been literally crawling with these poky little creatures. They would scurry around compounds at night, curl up into little balls when chased by a cat (or over-eager aid worker), and most importantly keep me company at night.
While some of my friends groaned about how the things would keep them awake at night, sitting underneath their beds and crunching loudly on insects, I found it quite comforting to know that I had half a dozen other living breathing (though unfortunately not exactly cuddly) elements in my room with me. I even talked to mine (yes, we aid workers do develop strange coping mechanims in places like this).
It seems that with the arrival of the rains, the hedgehogs have gone. I'm not sure exactly where they are now, but I miss the little guys.
My only consolation is that with the coming of the rains there has now been a new invasion of wild creatures in the compound: frogs. Going on first impressions and some initial bonding attempts last night, these green fellows actually seem to be better conversationalists than the hedgehogs. Let's hope this is the beginning of another great friendship.
Tags: Sudan, Darfur, aid worker, hedgehogs, frogs