-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Juba Adventures

A huge moon over Juba Town, the roads still wet from the evening shower. A bit concerned about the presence of military at the main intersections, certainly not helped by the firing of shots. I don’t think my running style is that bad?! Still, I turned off the main route, using side roads which are a tad more difficult to navigate, even with a head lamp. My knees seemed to have survived. 

In the section near the market, shapes huddle on the side of the road in the half-light, where they have been all night. The empty frames of the stalls above them. Women who work at the market waiting for the start of the workday.

‘Spring Dance’, my painting of Copenhagen, on a bright spring morning. Children dancing among the flowers from the spring bulbs that are starting to appear in the parks.ImageThe delicacy of their tutu inspired skirts, mirrored in their graceful movement.

The Dutch Embassy decorated Central Pub with orange and blue balloons to celebrate the new King and Queen. The Dutch moaned about the cuts to health care in Holland, while the state spent a fortune on a useless function. Perhaps that’s why they served lousy box wine?? I was happy with my sparkling mineral water.

Lots of lightning across the sky and with the rain starting I escaped as soon as the speeches finished and was only back at the apartment for a few minutes before the heavens went berserk. I sat with a glass of wine and some of the delicious cheese from Camphill Care in Hermanus, with the apartment doors open watching the storm rage. It also came through the roof so a bit of mopping up required before I crashed.

Our emergency project to get the runway built in Pibor hasn’t had a break from any direction. Rebels fighting; UN soldiers killed; early rain washing out roads; donors wanting to stop for reputation risk purposes; UN staff not wanting to work on weekends; equipment breaking down; convoys bogged down in the mud; helicopter airlifts cancelled; and more shooting between different parts of the armed forces. Despite this, my engineers on the ground are still optimistic that they can get the job done.

A restless night, awake in the early hours before heading out for my jog, the streets already busy with taxis and motorcycles. No military at least! Lots of joggers out and about, most on their way to soccer games. I passed my first female soccer player!

In his time Jan has been an electronics, nuclear and power system engineer, a strategist, a humanitarian and an artist. A career path linked by creativity and innovative thinking. Initially trained at the Johannesburg College of Art, Jan has won numerous international awards and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He can be found in his studio ‘Jandreart’ located at Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna.


  • Once again, the challenges you face on a daily basis are truly sobering and they serve to remind us just how difficult life is outside of our privileged worlds.

    Good luck boet and my profound thanks to you and your team as always…


    May 3, 2013

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