Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Butterflies. Sweat. A bit of blood. Howling wind. Dust. Homtini Pass. Four hours. The longest ride in many years. Breakfast at the Garden Route Trail Park halfway through the ride ensured that my blood sugars didn’t go crazy.

Homtini (The name is apparently of Khoi origin and means either “mountain honey” or “difficult passage”), is one of the more beautiful of the passes in the string of passes between Knysna and George. Covering 5km, it winds down 45 corners and curves through the thick indigenous forest.

‘Pincushion Macro’ Small acrylic on canvas paintings I have been trying to get done for ages, based on the photo’s Kirsten took of pincushion protea on the table at River Deck after our walk on the wild side. Do wonder how they would work at 2mx2m!

Vietnamese dinner with the last of the recipes for the book on Diabetic Sensitive Vietnamese food. Ga Rang Gung (Ginger Chicken) and a fish option, served with the classic Vietnamese salad and dipping sauce. A starter of the pork and prawn rolls, with a couple using salmon rather than pork. Good Hope Pinot Noir (Stellenbosch) and Chardonnay (2014) from Newton Johnson (Hemel and Aarde), and Stoney Brook (Franschhoek), with a 2013 Radfordale (Paardeberg) all worked well with the subtle flavours of the Vietnamese dishes.

The ‘Wall Easel’ hanging system installed in the studio. Flexible for the various canvas sizes I have used over the years, it can also be used as a painting easel for the 2m canvas I have waiting.

A great feature in the Kalahari Review of a collection of my small paintings.


Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

Eddie’s innovation dinner was to use an induction pan that works, with a pot (that doesn’t work on the induction hob) inside it to cook the pasta sauce.

We are waiting for confirmation of the ceasefire between anti and pro government forces, while there are reports that the pro-government forces have retaken Bor, assisted by Ugandan forces. In Juba, shooting was reported from High Malakal, with everything calm.

On the streets of Juba Town rubbish was being collected, and sweepers were out cleaning the sand from the roadside.

A painting of huts taking shape on the easel that reminds me of Monet’s haystacks.

Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

Juba 3 is busy at this time of the morning with construction equipment turning the area into flat cleared earth where IDPs can build shelters, and the perimeter earth embankments are raised to protect them from stray bullets. The area over the camp is shrouded in smoke and I have to modify my jogging route to keep as far from all this activity as I can. As I have meetings here first thing, I was able to jog in the cool morning which is certainly much easier.

The clearing activity, has attracted raptors their dark shapes at the tops of trees and lamp posts silhouetted against the sunrise.

We have done a first pass of program contingency options from which we will adjust the forecasts for the first quarter. Programme Criticality Analysis framework and other risk analysis frameworks received and to be applied to the portfolio and presence as a whole as well as to all projects.

Ade did our Innovation Dinner Challenge, made from ingredients he had grabbed from his house, or had in his bag from home. A tasty Nigerian salmon and couscous dish using Harissa. From Tunisia, it’s blend of anything spicy and hot they could find, mashed together with olive oil.

Petrol stations that have fuel are swamped by people hoping to get petrol for their vehicles. Diesel seems to be in more plentiful supply.

Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

Went out for my jog on a modified circuit that took me past where the new IDP camp is going to be built. The bush is burnt ready for the dozers in the morning. Amongst the black, a grey herron looking for braai end dinner. Certainly struggled!

The dinner innovation tonight (pasta with sausage) was an advertisement for the UNOPS Project Management approach. They went out searching, and finding, a pot that would work on the induction stove, and then refined the tea-light candle and tuna tin cooker so that it kept the sausage and tomato sauce at the perfect temperature.

A chilly start to the day in Juba Town, with one of those red African sunrises through the haze.

Different sort of preparations on the drive through from UN House to the office. Heavily armed soldiers, supported by a tank stand watch at the building of National Intelligence, while at the John Garang square they are erecting tents and piles of plastic chairs are waiting to be set out in the stand for the anniversary of the signing of the CPA.

Washing machine working! Paperback and wine cork used to balance it so it doesn’t spin itself into pieces.

My drama, what next on my easel?

A song from our South Sudan Talent Finalist; Rapper, Emmanuel

Not for Crying Any More South Sudan

Between us South Sudanese, I say No more blood shedding,
It’s time to stand together and build peace and harmony


I salute the entire martyr’s for their wisdom
And their live blood which have been poured for freedom
Of this beautiful green country South Sudan
It’s time Now for Peace and development
Not for crying any more South Sudan


It’s time to stand stronger to plant
For our beautiful green country
Let our Freedom Fighters soul rest in peace
For what they have been fighting for long, long time
No more bloodshed.


Let us think for the innocent people, women, children dying
And the displaced people across the country
Why… we have a beautiful Country full of resources
Let us come together as one
Not for crying any more South Sudan


Emmanuel Habakuk Kafu Soro

Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

All three programmes are working hard to either kick off/resume work where we can restart our development projects safely. Particularly those which have a strong Community Component to get as much money into those communities at this time of economic hardship.

We have set up a temporary planning office in the conference room where we have been marking the map of South Sudan with both security issues and where projects status.

My ‘Innovation Wars’ dinner was beer-butt chicken, with a honey, soya sauce, olive oil and rosemary basting, cooked over the fire. The oven lid; made from a cardboard box covered in tin foil. Fresh bread rolls were there as a hunger filler as required.

The fresh bread rolls are difficult to find in Juba Town at this time, with most bakery’s closed. The queue, behind me was miles long and the shelves of rolls empty as I left with my yellow packet of freshly backed rolls.

The fire was far too hot. The chicken too small for four hungry guys. The skin black as the marinated acted as a fire igniter. The oven lid went up in flames. Fortunately, the resulting chicken, moist and tasty. My braai implements of a fork and cork screw resulted in singed fingers.

Sadly I received news that one of my staff passed away from TB complications during the night.

Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

We are doing our best to share the dinner duties around amongst the guys who are camping in the houses at Juba 3. Something that we may change in the next few days as we expect another three to be coming in which will make a cook necessary. However, for now, I think there is something of a Cooking Innovation War going on.

Without a stove, Eddie and Nick cooked the rice in a pot, supported by four tuna tins and heated by tea-light candles. They did cheat a tad by first boiling the water! Their curried lentils and kidney beans were done in the microwave, and to stop the bowls from burning their hands to pieces, they used a second bowl as an insulation shell.

My cheese, provita, pate and wine did not even get onto the innovation scale.

Sprinkled through the reporting on the current conflict in South Sudan, references are made to the role of prophecies. Much do this goes back to the predictions by Ngundeng Bong, born around the 1840’s from the Nuer tribe. He predicted, through song, the coming of the white man to Sudan and the separation of North and South with military success for the South.

The link between his predictions and the current crisis is partly due to his “dang”, a rod that symbolized his power that was returned to South Sudan in 2009 from London where it had been taken by British troops around 1929, and Machar (the leader of the current Rebel forces) who has claimed to be part of the prophecy.

More information on Ngundeng can be found at

At the office, we have very few staff at work, with most still ensuring the safety of their families given the reports of soldiers moving on the outskirts of Juba Town. The tukal is being rebuilt with thatching guys performing their miracles with grass.