Suakin has to be seen to be believed. It is one reason why I took so many photographs of both people and buildings. Here is my fave…
Along the dusty road from the anchorage and old city lies the market, and behind the market, the residential area. The market is surrounded by wooden buildings that look more at home in The House of Fun, such is the angle at which they sit. It is the residential area, however, that really shocks. More buildings made of any scrap of cardboard, metal or wood have been cobbled together to provide some kind of shelter from the sun.
Daring to take the back streets back to our anchorage we found ourselves in amongst this residential area, photographing any passer-by who allowed us to point a lens at him. It was at this point that we befriended a local kid who took it upon himself to give us a guided tour of his neighbourhood.
He spoke no English but was more than happy to coordinate young children for their portrait to be taken whenever I asked.
In the late afternoon sun I got some of my fave shots of kids taken to date. Some smiley, some scared, but all willing to strike a pose for the camera.
Liz and I made a point of bringing with us a load of pens and some little balls, which we tried to distribute as evenly as we could. There was always a fight over them though!
The market provided some portraits too of course…
I was quite surprised to be allowed to photograph a couple of men washing themselves for prayer. One was sat outside a mosque (if you could call it that… it was a tin shack) but the other was a market trader who shut up shop for 20 minutes for this ceremony.
After passing through the market we made our way to the cafe area by the bus station and watched Eritrean refugees hard at work in the kitchens and back streets preparing food. One young Eritrean, who was grating a big lump of dried cheese, explained that he was being paid ten Sudanese pounds a day in wages. The lump of cheese he was grating cost £18.
So that’s the people of Suakin. Extremely friendly and very photogenic!