The Day I arrive

29 July 2008. Coordinates: 8°46′ N 27°24′, Aweil is the capital of the Southern Sudanese state of Northern Bahr Al Ghazal. From the sky, NBaG looks like a green desert. This is the middle of the rainy season. Heavy rains are flooding areas, destroying tukuls and shelters that are already fragile and precarious, displacing the…

Stuck in Wau, Western Bahr al Ghazal.

28 July 2008. We are not going to reach the field today. Bad weather conditions force us to stop first a few hours in Rumbek and then in Wau. After flying over Aweil for a while, the pilot decides to head back to Wau. He is not taking the risk to land and not be able…

Juba, Central Equatoria: waiting for my visa.

26, 27 July 2008. Whereas my journey towards Southern Sudan went so far smoothly, things get more complicated once I land at Juba International Airport. There is nobody to collect me. I am the only passenger left at the customs, waiting for my original travel permit that is supposed to be brought by my driver.…

Artsen Zonder Grenzen

25 July 2008: Lokichogio, Kenya. At MSF Holland, I meet a very international team: the Field Coordinator is French, the Medical coordinator is Dutch, Giorgio, the Logistics coordinator is from Sardaigna, the HR manager is Italian, one of the doctors is American, the other one, Marten is a Dutch doctor from The Hague, and Christine,…

Lokichogio, Kenya.

For years, Loki has been the host to NGOs and a platform for conducting programmes to Sudan. Map of Kenya, by ACN. Source: Wikipedia. Now that the situation is more or less stabilised, most of the international aid offices have moved to Juba, and left Loki as a ghost town. Vestiges of an active past,…

“This is your first mission, isn’t it?”

23, 24, 25 July 2008: Nairobi, Kenya. “This is your first mission, isn’t it?” asks the Finance and HR Coordinator of Nairobi, quite amused by the disappointed expression of my face. “Otherwise you would not be so eager to reach the field.” I thought that I would immediately fly to Juba, but instead, I am…

Destination: Aweil, South Sudan

Date of departure: 22 July 2008 Paris > Dubai > Nairobi > Lokichoggio > Juba > Rumbek > Wau > Aweil > Wau > Aweil. Total distance: 6,656 miles (10.712 km) Date of arrival: 29 July 2008 Entering Southern Sudan requires a Travel Permit issued by the GoSS (Government of Southern Sudan). Flying via Khartoum would…