Thursday, April 17, 2008

stand up and be cunted!

Ok, I know this is of questionable taste, but seriously, I couldn't restrain myself from posting this photo. I mean, at least they finally got it together enough in Sudan to have a census. They just need to sack their current translator or focus a little on their spelling...

who can throw a stick closest to that big stone over there

so i've been stuck in this horrible downward spiral of guilt - i haven't posted, so i need to post something, but it has to be really big and worthwhile, but i don't know what to write, so i haven't posted, etc. so here's my attempt at pulling myself up out of that ridiculousness.

it's April already, and i've been in Sudan awhile now, and have settled into the pace of things. unfortunately that pace includes being sick about once a month (this time it's tonsilitis, or strep throat, they can't do a throat culture here so they're just treating it with antibiotics anyway), going to the same 4 or 5 bars with the same group of people every weekend, and still not having a permanent place to live. although that was promised in November. however, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and i am moving into a house this weekend, as soon as they put screens in and locks on the door. there are trees in the "courtyard" (i'm trying to make the fact that we have to have a 10' high wall around the compound seem a bit more appealing), and my room is painted bright aqua! i don't have pictures yet, because my camera, ipod and external hard drive were all stolen from the other place i am staying by the weekend guards (my roomates had stuff stolen as well - we narrowed it down to a 6-hour time slot), but when i get a new one or borrow someone else's this blog will be graced by photos once again.

things with the boy are still going really really well, and it's time to bestow on him a code name for this blog since, as you may have noticed, i don't use people's normal names very often. from here on out, his Petunia in Paradise name will now be Simba. Simba means "lion" in Swahili. for those of you who know him (or have heard me talk about him) in real life, it will become instantly clear why i chose this name.

anyway, simba and i went to pemba, mozambique for my R&R, which was which was absolutely amazing, incredible, relaxing, gorgeous, etc etc etc. had a hard time leaving. the week was perfect. we stayed at a campsite in our own chalet, rented a motorbike for the week, cooked fish, sat on the beach, got drunk on the beach off of liquor made from sugar cane (we never actually figured out what it was) by playing the riveting game of "who can throw a stick closest to that big stone over there". good times. seriously, it was amazing.

work is going well, i'm much more confident about things now, and my department is growing from 9 people to 15 people as of next week. very exciting!!!! and more travel coming up - Mundri in 2 weeks, Yei the week after that, and probably Yambio in the near future as well.

and to close, i will leave you with my favorite moment of the day: Sudan's version of an ice cream truck - a man peddling a rickety old bicycle with a dusty orange water cooler strapped to the handle bars, neon plastic flowers tied to the handle, playing "santa claus is coming to town" from a doorbell he keeps pressing which is attached to a speaker.

always something to brighten up the day :)