Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day two in the Diginga hills of South Sudan:

How beautiful are the feet who bring good news!

As my fingers touch my cold keys I am reminded of so many people telling me how HOT Africa is and how they admire what I was doing. Yes, many African countries are hot hot, hot. With sun all the time and very little relief from it. But, to say all African countries are hot is not true.

Trust me, my friends working in Lostoth would tell you they are cold for ½ of the year with sown outside their door. And again, as I type this I am in a nice warm REI fleece (thank you Stanley and Harua!) with a big’ol scarf around my neck! Now understand, I am not complaining about the coldness of the South Sudan hills!  In fact, I am embracing it! When I left Kampala yesterday it was HOT and it was only 8am. So this cool change is a welcomed blessing.

Last night I was under three blankets with long sleeve pjs, and fuzzy socks….this would never happen in Kampala. The rain came pouring down on m Tookul (traditional Diginga housing). As the night went on I could hear drops coming through the thatched roof. Thankful, none of the leaks where over my bed, I finally dozed off to sleep that was sound and peaceful!

Welcoming the Hilderbrants at the air-strip
This morning as my computer and I sit outside in the open kitchen I hear the wild blowing, birds singing and, the bells from a near by heard of goats. The whole AIM Team up here talks about the beauty here. Personally, many miss conceptions on my part has never lead me to believe they were right, until NOW!

Really this is a lovely place. Yes, people live in mud huts, have very little and are very isolated but everywhere you look you see the handy work of the Father.

What could be so exciting in that box? Live CHICKENS!
long flight from Kenya+40 minute hick=FRESH eggs!
The team here is doing some great work with an unreached tribe. The two single ladies up here are AH-mazing. Just in the 24 hours I have been here there are stories to stress how truly amazing they are. Like today, a plane came in with some supplies. There was a box of chickens….6 hens and 1 rooster. When the plane landed and we looked in the box two hens were dead. One of the ladies was sad because that means two less hens to lay eggs.  After she closed up the box again she looked at me and said “Well I guess Sunday chicken dinner is tonight!”  So on joke, after she hiked over 40mins back to her hut she cut the head off, plucked the feathers, cut the feet off, and gutted them. Oh yeah, this is also after she taught a full day at the local village school. She’s hall of fame in my book!

What MKs do while waiting for dinner
Some how with all the daily life stuff of planes coming in, hiking to the air field, cutting up chickens, and cooking from scratch I was still able to meet with the Unit Leader to talk about Short-Term. We had great chats about how ST could help with some building projects all over the country. It was a blessing to have time to sit face to face in the mess of it all. The main reason I saw this time as key is because when the Unit Leader says it takes a special type of person out here….I can now literally see what he means. 

Day one in the Diginga hills of South Sudan:

The day started early! Very early! Like 5 am early……for some of you that is not early but for me it is! By 6am my cat was fed, house locked up, and I was in a taxi heading to the airstrip where our bush flight was taking off from. 

Before I lost my breakfast!
Yes, that is right, no commercial flights to where I was headed. Just small planes like a Cessna 206 or the occasional Caravan. This was my first bush flight, and the first time I ever up-chucked on a plane. Thankfully that was at the end when we were about to land and once my stomach was empty I was good.

The beauty of Africa from the air!
Besides losing my breakfast the flight was great! Africa is stunning both from air and road. This day I was blessed to see the beauty from the air. And I could not help but see the land of God. High mountains to flat plains…His handy word was there to marvel at, and I did!

The air strip where we landed
Where we landed by many people’s standers would NOT be an airstrip. A flat quasi smooth patch of land where the grass has been kept low on top of a mountain. Oh, I forgot the drop off on one end of it. But, our skilled pilot landed the plane after two fly-bys. Once the wheels were on the ground people, from out of nowhere, came to greet us! Not only people but cows and goats as well. Hills surrounded us. All you could see where hills and sky, beyond that were more hills. It did not take long to realize I was not in Kampala any more.

Once the plane was unloaded, people and cargo, porters came to carry the boxes of supplies we had flown in. Back home, you would picture a strong mountain man stepping forward to carry the things….but this is Africa! The men tended to the cows and goats while the ladies did everything. These ladies were small but WOW! They carried 50kgs of stuff with no problem, and one lady even had her baby strapped to her back.

The path to the compound
The ladies and I walked over the river and through the jungle to the compound where the team lives (about a 40min hike).