Country: South Sudan
Boston and I had been travelling together for four and a half months. Day in, day out we had never been further than a few metres apart – something which I can’t say about any other person in my life.Boston had seen me angry, sad, hungry, elated, exhausted, stripped of my dignity and most of the time downright bloody filthy. We'd been through swamp, savannah, city and jungle together. Negotiated and navigated some of the toughest terrain I've ever been through. He’d become more than a guide and a walking companion. He'd become a friend.
Boston looked after me when times were tough, woken me up on more than one occasion when we were running late and needed to get walking – when that was the last thing I wanted to do – and had been a brilliant guide. But as his period on the expedition was drawing to a close, the time had come for us to go our separate ways and say goodbye.
Boston had never been to Sudan and doesn’t speak Arabic. Furthermore I was heading into a warzone and didn’t want to take responsibility for his safety, especially since he’s got a family to think about. It’s one thing taking risks yourself, but I couldn’t ask him to come with me to the front line, even though he desperately wanted to.
There’s no easy way to disappoint someone so I told him straight up in Terrekeka. In some respects the decision had already been made as his South Sudanese visa was about to expire and he couldn’t get a visa for the Republic of Sudan without going back to Uganda anyway. He was upset and told me that above anything else he wanted to finish the expedition and see the pyramids but he took it like a man and the next day he was gone. I made sure he got back okay, with the film crew and we’ve been keeping in close contact since.
For me, the prospect of heading off into the wilderness alone was daunting, if not terrifying, but I’d begun this expedition alone and had to see it through. I was now at the mercy of strangers and for now on in the journey would be an entirely different beast.
I knew I’d miss Boston, his tales of misadventure from the Congo, his history of Africa from an African’s eyes, his wildly inaccurate conspiracy theories and not to mention, his pigeon hunting.
For sure I’ll miss his enthusiasm and zest for new experiences, he’s not a dreadful cook either (although he uses way too much salt!) but I am happy to know he’s safe at home and that we will be friends for life. I have no doubt I’ll see him again very soon.
God's speed my friend. Until next time...