First Impressions of Bentiu

Jet black kids playing in the mud. Striking african women with platted hair and colourful clothes. Two green military tanks being washed in the river. A comical meeting with our french field coordinator and his little english, and the new government finance ministry, in a room full of people doing nothing all day. TB patients coughing behind the grass isolation fence. Chatting to the young french doctor who wants to know what a kiwi looks like. Invited to play volleyball on Sunday with the Red Cross expats down the way. Trying to help Kaliphar the mechanic with the generator even though we don't speak each other's language. Meeting with the UN World Food Program woman to try and explain needing to destroy 200 bags of donated wheat which are full of insects. Trying to figure out what exactly 'it's broken' means with respect to the vehicle radio. So many white land cruisers stirring up the dust on the road. Showering under a tap sticking out of the tin ceiling. Rice and meat stew and coke for dinner. I've only been twenty four hours in Bentiu. Sleeping under a mosquito net in a tukul. Tomorrow, Africa again.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi Richard,
My name is Jamie Turner and I just discovered your blog. I worked for ACF in Bentiu in 2004, with Dorothy. I noticed you mentioned her in one of your posts. Do you have any contact information about her? I have been trying to track her down as she was such a good friend and we have lost touch. In any case, I hope you see this message, and that you are well. It was nice to read about your experience in Bentiu and to see your pictures. For me, it was the best job I've ever had because of the people I believe. I was the Site Manager. Before that I worked in Burundi and the Congo, but nothing could compare to the Nuer people in Bentiu. Anyways...take care.
Jamie Turner
jamieturner2000@yahoo.com

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