Finding the time and the ability to update my blog has been so difficult lately. I'm sorry for that.
There hasn't been any town power in Juba for at least a month. Power is provided by large diesel generators and evidently the City of Juba has been unable to purchase fuel, for whatever reasons. You hear rumors that the minister in charge of electric power absconded with the money, or there are disagreements between the government and suppliers over the price and in typical African fashion no one does anything until the situation is totally resolved. South Sudan is a country blessed (or cursed?) with oil. But the crude flows north through a pipeline to Port Sudan where it is shipped off to China and India, mostly. Finished petroleum products like petrol and diesel fuel arrive from Kenya mostly, which requires hard currency.
I've been accosted several times now while buying diesel fuel for the car I drive at service stations around Juba. It's always some Somalian crack-head shouting about how awful American is and how much he hates America. The first time it happened the stupid kid kept asking all the other customers if they didn't hate America also? I told him I was suprised he hated America since we are pumping $600-million into Somalia to help its people (since raised to $700-million) in response to the drought and famine. He said he didn't care, he just hated America.
When this happened again at a different station the other day I asked the kid what is was about Somalians and petrol stations and he told me that Somalians own 15 service stations around Juba, or nearly all of them. This must be a huge windfall of cash that's flowing back to Somalia to (likely) support terrorist activities. All the Sudanese I know despise the Somalians and look forward to the day when they will be kicked ut of the country. All I know, is when I heard on the BBC yesterday that the US is operating drone planes out of Ethiopia against Somalia, I was very happy to hear it.
Anyway, lack of power has made internet access difficult. We have a solar back-up, but it too has been rather dodgy of late and there are many days we go without any power which means no internet system. We don't have internet at our house. There we have only four hours of power a night when the Guest House turns on the generator. We often have to start cooking dinner in the dark or just sit around waiting for the power to come on. Compared with ninety-percent of Sudanese we're lucky to have access to any electric power, but as a westerner more used to living with power the constant lack is wearing on the nerves.
So, having said all that, when I have access to the internet I try and limit myself first to work related materials. Today is Saturday and between having good solar and a little extra time I really wanted to update the blog.
Work has been insanely busy. I could not even begin to list all of the projects and activities I have been involved with. Every day here is simply a blur of constant activity. Fortunately, I love hectic and being kept busy, so I am thriving in this environment. The major problem, though, is that I am working so hard there is little time for reflection and serious thought, and little time for trying to organize things better so every day doesn't always have to be so rushed.
I was fortunate to be able to get to go to England for a week recently. It was my first time to go and I had a fantastic time! I will post a seperate blog entry about that, but suffice to say England was great and I cannot wait to go back.
The ECS is having it's once every five years Synod in mid-November. We have all been working so hard to make the event a reality. There are a thousand details to attend to and since organization is not one of our strongpoints it is making getting the event together that much harder. But it's all falling together, and I am sure it will be a great occasion once it actually arrives.
Apologies again for not posting anything lately. Between being to busy and lack of internet (or lack of computer!! don't even get me started. My new laptop died, my backup has also now died, and somone brought in a virus/worm into the office that wiped out my flash-drive where I had many of my files. I had my laptop hard-drive backed up to an external hard-drive, but I'm afraid the flash is gone. Very annoying) posting anything has been a challenge. Hopefully things will get easier.