Back in South Sudan

A few months ago, Dorcas employee Teuntje had to leave South Sudan because of all the turmoil. She has now returned, after a short period in the Netherlands. She wrote a blog about her departure from the Netherlands and her first few days back in South Sudan.

Monday August 29th, last day in the Netherlands
: Todays is my last day before I leave. I’m enjoying the nice weather and the nice food while I can; I’m eating green beans from the garden. I don’t know what I’ll be getting when I’m back in South Sudan. I heard food is scarce. Trucks are being plundered before they reach their destination and the roads are bad because of the rain. I’m trying to fit an emergency package of muesli and crackers into my suitcase. And I should go to the grocery store to get yogurt, so that I can make more yogurt when I’m in Wau.

Thursday September 1st, making plans: Yesterday I finally arrived in Juba, after two days of traveling. Today is busy. We discussed the continuation of our project with Save the Children (coordinator of the South Sudan Joint Response). We are right on track with the project. Other organisations that are involved haven’t been affected by the recent turmoil as much because their projects are in other areas. We also visited our partner International Aid Services (IAS). This organisation realises water, sanitation and hygiene activities for us in Unity state. In the afternoon I received a safety briefing at the Dutch embassy. More and more organisations and embassies are returning to South Sudan.img_20160715_085530-225x300

Friday September 2nd, plane: Juba Airport is back to its chaotic normal. It was already hot at 7 in the morning it was difficult to discover any sort of structure in the crowd of people at the airport. I was just in time for my flight and, after a detour through Rumbek and Aweil, I made it to Wau. It is special to be back after all that has happened.

Monday September 5th, back to work: Today is my first ‘normal’ day back on the job. I needed most of the day to get updated on all that has happened since my departure. We discussed the fact that many people got sick because of contaminated water at one of our project locations, and of course, what we can to about it.

As I walk home during my lunch break, a few children call me ‘Dorcas’, as if that’s my name. Apparently they haven’t forgotten me after all these weeks. The displaced people in Wau haven’t been able to return home, unfortunately, but the camp at the UN compound seems to have improved. It looks like people are looking for food more than that they are looking for safety (this period is the end of a so-called ‘hunger gap’). At the end of the day, a logistics employee hands me my passport back, including a new visa for six months. I can stay here for a while.

12 September 2016

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