-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Juba Adventures

Next lot of linen washed and sorted for the ever swopping of beds as we cycle people through Juba Town.

Our Innovation Dinner in the new Tukal had a different twist with Sher deciding that his innovation was to use the local chefs who provide the daily food for us to do the cooking and to teach them how to prepare and cook Afghan food. The capacity building that is at the heart of what we do.

A hazy morning, the sounds of drumming and singing from the IDP’s. After a night of gunfire it all seems a tad disjointed. Reflected in my portrait of an old women, ‘Gogo’. My energy not quite at the levels I would have liked. In harmony with her environment, the essence of life, yellow highlighting her vitality.

Meetings with government officials to look at priorities for the stabilization of Bor, the Ghost Town of Jongelei. Disposing of wreckage while respecting ownership and environmental considerations. Getting the market functioning. Providing access to safe water. Ensuring that women and other vulnerable groups are safe. While rapidly deciding on what a future city in South Sudan should look like, are some of the deliberations. This while further north Malakal is under attack, making one wonder as to the futility of struggling for funds for another project that may be swept aside by madness.

Went out for my jog under overcast skies the sun hiding under its blanket of cloud. Amazed to see a bokkie in the road! The first bit of Africa wildlife I have seen in South Sudan. They have closed off a new section of the loop around the PoC area, so I had to change my route again. Its now a figure of eight, of sorts, and I think its a tad shorter so will need to see how to get an extra section added.

Lots of soldiers around Juba Town on our way through to the office. Vehicles loaded with weapon toting soldiers. Some crazy with lights flashing emerging from the dust in the middle of the road, others on motorcycles, or walking.

Coffee with Rachael (our environmental, security, gender person) to see if we can do anything positive on the environmental side of the PoC. We have dirty great bulldozers clearing the ground, with scant regard for anything that’s in their way. Large trees are needed for shade, although with 30,000 people expected to be housed there, I’m not sure they will survive the charcoal making process and wood fires for long. Watching the latest pictures on the news, with child soldiers evident, we did wonder if we were creating recruitment camps rather than PoC sites??

Bistro humming with a new wave of young humanitarian workers. Hair still shiny, ears pink from the sun. A few of the older hands sprinkled amongst the crowd, looking slightly rundown. A bit like an old gardening hat that kind of blends into the hatrack.

A tad surprising to be signing a gazillion contract documents, which together with a slight upward tilt in the revenue column indicates that work is underway.

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.


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