9 May 13
Another storm over Juba Town, lightning flashing across the sky, the air charged with energy. Of course, the storms also bring the added complexity of how to carry out our programs amongst the mud and slush of a country that is two-thirds swamp. The misery for those in the camps unimaginable and not much better for those in the terrible corrugated iron buildings (not ours) for the returnees welcoming them to their new homes and country. Hideous.
My painting of kids playing in the Nile was a struggle, with no clear idea of what I wanted to achieve and a general feeling that I was fighting it the whole time. The low light levels (the lights in the apartment aren’t working) also made it difficult. Eventually I simply stopped and it will have to survive as it is.
Thunder and rain hammering on the roof woke me as a storm raged outside. I lifted the power strip off the floor and positioned a towel near the door in case the water came through the ceiling again. On my jog, a brilliant sunrise, the spectacular colours highlighting, again, how much work I still have to do on my painting.
Took a walk up to the bread shop, with Juba Town quiet. The sun shrugging off the blankets of clouds that made it a late riser as well. For now, the doors in the apartment are open. Cheese and honey, with Nespresso for breakfast.
I did manage to pour water all over the place in trying to fill the Nespresso water container. Didn’t watch where the top of the water bottle was before I started to pour. A mess.
‘Juba Skies’. I used the smooth texture of the linen to increase the translucency of the sky, selecting colours and paint brands that had a high transparency index. The focus was on keeping the painting simple. The string of yellow-billed kites soaring on thermals created by the building storm clouds.
The parking at the apartment, terrible. Some sort of function being held across the road with vehicles everywhere. In Juba Town, if you want to have a function, you dig holes in the sand road for tent poles, erect a tent across the road and have a function. That this makes it impossible for everyone else doesn’t seem to matter at all.
A relaxed evening with Sheena next to the Nile, talking about new adventures.
A day running between meetings and sorting program issues. As expected, hardly anything went according to plan, including being rear-ended by some guy who was so busy talking on his phone that he didn’t see me stop. As he was from State Security there was a bit of an issue with the UNOPS security guys but all ended peacefully. Another of the UNOPS drivers arrived. I took his car and went to my meeting, while he took my car to the police station and garage. Back at the office, the drivers congratulated me on now being officially a resident of Juba Town.
9 May 13