-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Juba Adventures

On the way back to UN House, we passed a couple of big white Land Cruisers decorated with purple and silver ribbons, carrying a bride. A surprise around every corner.

Renewed fighting up North which isn’t unexpected and soldiers back around the Presidents house. Fortunately we can take other routes to bypass where they are.

We celebrated Eddie’s Mum, daughter and brothers birthday with shortbread made by Mum. Special times amidst the craziness.

Butterflies are constantly around and with the bright summer flowers still splendid, I decided to bring them together in a painting, ‘Butterfly Windows’. The panels of butterfly wings reminded me of stained glass windows. I kept the flowers loose, a backdrop to the butterflies.

Eddie did his chilli-con-carne taking pity on my inability to digest the fiery chilly he prefers. Still strong enough to clean out my sinuses and I was grateful for the relief provided by the guacamole. The harsh Chilean red wine didn’t seem out of place.

After dinner Eddie did a bunch of card tricks that had us bamboozled. Impressive and certainly Magic School should be included in mandatory training before being posted to these crazy countries.

The siren screaming from the UN ambulance as it raced across Juba 3. A tad bizarre with no traffic, or anyone even out walking, to warn.

Long days, waking at silly hours, doing budgets, proposals, audits, smiling and trying to find money for the unexpected. Like walls falling down in the flood waters that surge through our compound caused by blocked drains. Or rather drains built so they end in a dead-end and fill with discarded trash.

Music blaring from the PoC, which somehow seems to merge with the still, heavy air.

A glass of wine watching the storm. Lightning across the mountain and thunder rumbling. A fun sort of storm. The rain gentle and even the thunder seems playful after a few loud crashes of bravado.

A tumble while out for my jog, my foot catching one of the deeper ruts after the rains. Bumps, bruises and scratches. Amazingly, little blood.

As artists, lucky we are, to be able to enjoy the inspiration of small moments.

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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