South Sudan remains a country of hope and despair. The problems here often seem insurmountable, just too difficult to ever be solved. But then you encounter a small miracle, a child who has been enrolled in school or a health clinic that has opened where people never had access to medicine before, and you are renewed in the hope that with time and effort, things will get better.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Security too has been a problem, though I have been fine. There are a few parts of
one area known as Gudele (“Goo-deli”) in particular, where nighttime robberies
and shootings have been rampant. At
first people thought maybe the police were involved because some of the gangs
who were carrying out the armed robberies appeared to be wearing police uniforms. Later, when one of the bandits had been
captured and questioned, it turned out that some police were renting out their
uniforms for the evenings to criminals, a way of making a little something on
Though it is not terribly common I do occasionally hear gunfire outside of our compound late in the evenings. I’ve come to listen closely to the shots, waiting to hear if there is any reaction. When I hear shots but no screaming or sirens afterwards, then I know it is simply someone firing into the air. Last week the latest crowd of police recruits graduated from the police academy. That night I could hear a party and loud voices nearby and then several gunshots fired in celebration. The shots were so close I half expected to find someone lying in the street when I came out the next morning, but as I’d heard no screaming after the shots I knew they were merely fired out of joy.