Somehow in the travels, I lost my South Sudan SIM card, which left me stranded at the airport. A novel, not unpleasant experience, for one who is used to being swept through formalities in a white UN chariot. Somehow the message got through to the office that I was stranded and the white chariots duly arrived. Fortunately in time to get me to the staff Christmas party. As I had been reading all sorts of New Year stuff in the gospel according to Men’s Health and the SA Runner, I was able to do a rousing speech between the carol singing and opening of gifts. Dinner out under the stars of Juba Town accompanied by storytelling and dancing, assisted by copious amounts of wine and beer.
With the Tukal canteen closed for the holidays, I have had to find alternatives for breakfast and lunch, as well as supplies, which they sorted for me. Tinned tuna and red wine will ensure that I don’t starve, with a broadening of lunch options to Hamza Inn, a dodgy place opposite Notos. The food is basic boarding school style buffet, with the only advantage being that you don’t have to wait for service.
With the holidays, the streets are quiet again in the mornings making for a less hazardous jog. Apart from the odd brick, or open culvert which are a tad difficult to spot in the dark. Nothing like a bit of trail running on the few paved streets of Juba Town.
The riots in Wau, north of Juba have kept us occupied as we ascertained the safety of staff, which highlighted a problem with our safety plans as we did not have the location of families. All a bit crazy with intertribal and community fighting. Football hooligans on steroids! The shooting down of a UN helicopter over Jongelei a tad disturbing.
Evening noises at the apartment in Juba Town, bashing doors, breaking glasses, raised voices and generators. The aircrew who stay here having their usual party, with a bit of holiday frustration thrown in. Still, better than shooting! We are now under a midnight curfew to try and stop some of the increased crime that comes with the Christmas season.
A strange sort of day in Juba Town as if it hasn’t quite woken up. I was later than usual for my jog, the sky hazy, and I’m not sure that I haven’t got slower as the day has gone on??
I did manage to do my painting from on of Chiba’s photos taken in Lakes State. Simple, but demanding.