Saturday, January 21, 2012

South Sudan

On Thursday, I will be taking my first trip with the organization I work for. I am going to the world's newest nation, South Sudan, with my boss and some of our colleagues. We will be meeting a group of several hundred people coming out of slavery in Sudan, documenting their stories and giving them food and other supplies, and delivering medical supplies to our clinic in the area.

Or rather, they will be. I'll be taking pictures, learning all that I can, and doing my best not to get in the way.

I probably won't be back until a week into February or so.

One of my professors senior year shared this photo with our class. The more lit-up a place is on the map, the more connected it is to the rest of the world, by transporation and telecommunications.

See that dark red splotch in eastern Africa? That's where I'm going.

It takes a day to get from the U.S. to Syria. It'll take me four days to get to our final destination in South Sudan.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan this summer, six years after a peace treaty put an end to sixty years of nearly constant warfare between the Muslim North and the Christian, animist South.

A gentleman I met this week (who is in a position to know) told me that 80% of adult women in this country have been raped, and virtually everyone above the age of seven has seen a person killed in front of them.

I think it's safe to say I'm not entirely prepared for this. If it comes to your mind, please pray for safety and mental fortitude for me.

Much love to you all.

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