On Saturday the weather finally started to break a little from the unbearable heat we have been enduring here. I know I have whined about it a couple of times now, but the temperatures have been horrid for weeks, everyone in Juba has been drained by the heat and rising humidity as we approach the rainy season. Sleeping at night - for the majority of us who don't enjoy air conditioning or even electric power - has been very hard without so much as a fan blowing over you. It is nauseating waking-up many times during the night in a pool of sweat. The simple act of rolling over - I'm a side sleeper - causes my entire body to erupt in a torrent of fluid, so gross.
On Saturday evening the skies turned cloudy, windy and a little cooler. I was out at the HASH run out by Jebel Kajure, which was an absolutely brutal run up the mountain but the subject for another blog, and mercifully the air turned somewhat cooler making the run bearable. By Sunday the skies were quite cloudy and gray and the wind was strong all day. By evening I and my flatmate were actually feeling cool, like temperatures had dropped into the 80's! You have to understand, there has not been a moment cooler than 90 for weeks, not even at night.
We're approaching Easter here in Juba. This has been a difficult Lent season for me. I have been feeling the effects of exhaustion, a combination on endless heat and continuous work. I never get a day off here. I have people contacting me about church business seven days a week. The tiredness reaches down into my bones. It effects my mood to where everything is annoying and it is hard to find joy in anything. Normally I am able to focus upon Lent, pray more and even fast at least once, but here, this year, it has not been possible for me to remain focused properly upon the season which I regret. I revel at times in the lack of distractions here, that I am able to focus more upon my work and mission. But the same lack of distractions makes getting away from my everyday life hard. I understand now why all the NGO's are continuously giving their staff time-off. I have often thought it ridiculous how much vacation people get here, but you really do need to get out of this environment, got out of country to get a proper rest. One disadvantage to working for an indigenous NGO, and a poor one at that, is that even if can take time-off I really cannot afford to go anywhere so I just sit in Juba and keep working. I am looking for work with an international NGO. You can best believe I will be checking out those NGO's vacation programs seriously!
I wish everyone a blessed Easter full of peace, hope and love.