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Showing posts from June, 2007

Closing Days

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Closing a mission is always said to be difficult. I was lulled into a false sense of security though with great friendly staff and beautiful surroundings, and so when the last week of the mission turned a bit pear shaped it really was an interesting life experience for me.

There were three things that in hindsight I wish could have gone better. The first resolved itself with the arrival from El Genina of Chloe to help with the HR side. Basically I misjudged the time it would require to count out 45 million diners for the 115 staff to be paid in the last days, and so Chloe was a huge help counting notes till the late into the night.

The second was more of a bolt out of the blue with four of my staff arrested by the police for stealing. Upon further investigation of the material concerned it appears to full into three categories, items that I had indeed ‘donated’ including mainly wood and plastic rubbish, items that I clearly had not given permission, and then items I had never seen befor…

Jebel Climbing

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The town of Mornei where I am now living is overlooked by a wonderful little mountain, or 'jebel' as they are known here. We climbed it on Friday (our day off here being a Muslim region) but did not get great views as it was quite cloudy. I'll have to try again next week. The jebel sits to the south of the town and rises abruptly from the otherwise flat sandy landscape. To the north and west are scrubby wastelands, and on the eastern side is the dry river bed or 'wadi'. In the village kids run and play and the place looks like a large healthy village.

Of course looks can be deceiving, and this village is in fact a camp which grew from 5000 residents to 75,000 refugees (or internally displaced peoples (IDP's) as they are now known) during the major Darfur violence of 2003 and 2004. Most people therefore have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed, often loosing many members of their family in the process. Armed men still wander the streets, and rapes and looti…