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Pole to Pole

Day 71: Khartoum

Michael Palin - Pole to Pole'Maju,' he calls to the waiter, 'you know I never eat salad!'

He turns to me forbiddingly, 'Salad is one of the worst ways of contracting dysentery.' (I presume he means one of the best ways.) 'One of the first principles of keeping fit in the tropics is that you avoid salads.'

He claims he has not lost a day's work in ten years here, so I move my rather succulent plateful of tomato and onions as far away from me as is politely possible. I would think the rest of the menu, which contains items like Scotch egg and 'twisted fish' could be a problem, but not for the professor. Anything that is served hot, out of the Club's kitchen, is safe. Twisted fish?

'Very good; fillets of fish twisted round and fried.'

The 1500 students of Professor Woodruff's beloved University of Juba were recently airlifted from the south when the war made it impossible for life and work to continue. He has high praise for his students, and says the Sudanese make very good doctors. But there are not the resources to train enough of them. 'The World Health Organization recommend that there should be one doctor for every thousand of the population - in the Sudan I think it is still one doctor to ten or twelve thousand.'
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 71
  • Country/sea: Sudan
  • Place: Khartoum
  • Book page no: 153

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