Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Petunia is back in Paradise

Hello everyone, there's been a bit of a lapse since the last posting, but never fear, Petunia is back in Paradise. I have spent lots of time on planes and in airports during the past month, and instead of doing something productive, for my own amusement I decided to tally up the number of countries I've visited each year over the past few years. Had to consult the passport for a few of them. So here's the list, not including the US:
2003: 7
2004: 9
2005: 6
2006: 6
2007: 5
and for this year, 2008, I've been to 4 so far, and it's only been 1 month!!! Don't even start asking how many hours I've spent traveling.

It's strange, Juba actually feels like home now - I felt like I was coming back to my life. Actually having someone to come back to also helps, but I missed my friends, my clothes (was wearing my Mom's clothes for most of my vacation), and the now-familiar sights and sounds. There's also a ton of work to be done, and thankfully I have the energy to push out a lot of the planning necessary for the beginning of the year's activities, of which there are millions.

Juba is no longer the "lush" and "green" place I described in my first post. The dry season has arrived in all its dusty glory and everything is covered with a fine coat of reddish silt. To examine the contents of this substance is not something I'm prepared to do, as it's probably a nasty mixture of dirt, maram, sand, sediment from burning garbage, ash from burning the grasses by the side of the road, and a good measure of feces that I will have to pretend I'm not breathing in for the next few months until the rainy season returns (May? June? we'll see). To drive around Juba is like driving through a dust storm, and it gets particularly tricky at night when it's like driving through fog there's so much dust in the air. Luckily, the tarmac road which connects the ministries is halfway done. So the MPs can race around and everyone in town who doesn't actually know how to drive or deal with vehicles moving faster than 30 kph just gets into accidents. Joy. Maybe someone should look into installing speed bumps...

Much love and here's to a happy AND HEALTHY 2008!

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