Partly Cloudy, Partly Sunny

Published May 29, 2011

It is partly cloudy here… That is to say, partly sunny as well. We accomplished most of our logistics list today. Including:
1. Checked out of the South Sudan Hotel.
2. Received our Western Union money transfer – Thanks Stephanie!
3. Gave our borrowed Landcruiser an oil and filter change and replaced some worn out bushings in the front end.
4. I get to drive said Landcruiser!
5. Checked in to a more cost effective local hotel for our last night in Juba. So – that’s the partly sunny part.

The partly cloudy part:
1. Micheal is still sick. He will not be able to tavel with us to Jalle tomorrow. His uncle, Daniel, will come with us instead. (The fact that Daniel has already proven himself to be an indispensable member of the team belongs in the “sunny” category!)
2. No update on the foundation.
3. Some of you are probably following Sarah’s saga at Addis Ababa. As far as James and I know, she’s still there.
4. We’ve somehow lost James’s camera charger severely limiting the shooting he can do for fear of running out of juice before reaching Jalle.

Now the details: In the end, the South Sudan Hotel gave us a substantial discount over their normal rates. With three of us traveling and sharing one room, the cost per person per day for food and lodging ended up being fairly reasonable. I thanked them by accidentally walking out with the only room key still in my pocket – oops. I discovered the key while we were eating lunch. They only have one key for security purposes – even if they had more than one key, if one was lost they’d have to change the locks anyway.

Since we’re borrowing the Landcruiser from “the community”, we thought it only right if we did some needed maintenance on it for them. This led to a crazy afternoon of bargaining with the mechanic, going to lunch at a yummy Ethiopian restaurant — another partly cloudy, they advertised pizza, but I was once again thwarted in my quest to sample the local variety — then on to what appeared to be the central open air market with all its crazyness and then back to the mechanic to wait another hour. Daniel took advantage of the extra time to return the key to the hotel.

For pictures, we’re going to rely on my crappy point and shoot digital – but it takes AA’s and doesn’t need charging.

Hopefully, Sarah has send an email to this address and I will get it when I send this out.

James mentioned this morning that our plans haven’t stayed the same during any two consecutive daylight hours since we arrived here. Nevertheless, the plans for the next few days are as follows: 1. Get up early and fuel the Landcruiser before the station itself runs out of fuel. I’ll give you an update tomorrow after we fill up, but I think diesel is over $6.00 USD per gallon. Next, we get some food and water at the crazy central market to take with us to Jalle. Then, we drive to Bor and stay one night in Bor. Then we go to Jalle and hopefully great the foundation as it comes to town. Regardless of the foundation’s arrival, we have to get James back to Juba on Thursday to catch his Friday flight. I very very very much hope that we can start construction next week.

The place we’re staying now, though saving a lot of money, clearly has some downsides. Like the choking smoke from the neighborhood cooking fires. I think it would be hard to stay here multiple days. But if you’re traveling to Juba on a a budget, for less than $15 per person, you can have your own room with clean sheets and a fan!

From the field,
Blake Clark, Executive Director

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