4th day in Juba, South Sudan and I’m still alive, kinda clean, I’ve not been mugged (knock on wood), I’m always pretty sweaty, full of mosquito bites and recently a dog owner. Welcome to blondie in Africa volume 3.0!
Before starting off I’d like to apologize for the lack of pictures – down here people will go as far as to civilian arrests if you haven’t got their permission to take pictures; even if it’s just a building or something else random non-human.
Flying into Juba is quite a vision; first of all the city looks like a huge scattered mirror due to the tin roofs covering most houses in the city. Then there’s the UN choppers lined up around a crashed jet, which apparently has been lying there for some years now. There’s Juba International Airport; a very chaotic, busy and tiny place, which smells like a mixture of pee and sweat and stressed NGO-workers – there is a system for sure, it’s just very difficult to see through – and when you have you’re left wondering why on earth no one changes it; just push a table ’round a few meters, don’t have two different lines working in the same booth, do put up a sign that tells people what to do. And international?, well you could have fooled me when I entered that perhaps 50 sqm room. But T.I.A., I know it is and you know I like it (except from the smell of pee and sweat) 🙂
I’ve gotten myself a nice big room in a nice house with all-day cold showers and electricity from 7pm-7am. Any other time of day I live in darkness (which of course is not entirely true). I live with Agnete, Bo(Bo) and Benny, who are all very sweet people except Benny who’s actually a dog. He used be a de-miner and has probably saved a lot of people, but now he’s retired. He’s pretty racist and only likes white people and embarrasses us by barking at black people on the street. We live in a compound with all the other Christian humanitarian organizations and it’s very tempting to make a bit fun of it all since none of us are true believers, but one thing is for sure: God is with me! (Til danske læsere: vores sted er også kendt som Tidehvervs Missionshotel (høhø) – https://maps.google.be/maps/ms?msid=208493251469535750943.0004de03f4a60a42db7da&msa=0).
Other than that I’ve been positively surprised by Juba that offers both yoga classes, swimming pools, supermarkets, good dining places, redwine and chocolate – at least I’ve been told 🙂 But the city is still made up of half asphalt road and half dirt road full of potholes and giant muddy pits; since it’s still rainy season it takes some courage and accelaration to get around even in a land cruiser. The tallest building is around 3 storeys. They close down half the city when the president moves around even just from work to home. There’s no bank that works, so the only way to get money is to exchange dollars at a rate that most likely changes a lot from day to day. Let’s just say, there’s a looong way ahead for Juba to be the kind of capital you imagine, when you think of a capital, though the locals don’t think it’s neither a small or, all things considered, peculiar city.
I’ve picked up my first telephone number from a guy I still don’t know since it was given to me by a waitress. I don’t think I’m gonna call him 🙂
I’ve seen a pick-up truck full of armed military guys, which resembles things you’ve only ever seen in movies like Blood Diamond or Hotel Rwanda.
I’ve done my first yoga session in the heat of South Sudan.
I’ve been grounded inside a house all day (today) because of some nightly brawl.
Maja Sky Papaya