The day started with the rather limited breakfast at the Catholic Multi Purpose Guest House where we were staying. Breakfast is a hard boiled, rather smelly egg and a mandazi which is a local donut – this does a great job of providing plenty of carbohydrate to keep us going but not many vitamins or fibre!
We had one hour before leaving for the airstrip so we all sped into action – I went to meet with Bishops Emmanuel and Joseph with Andrew as well to discuss CRESS projects – Fiona went to do a one-to-one session with one of the local team. A very useful hour. Then we all ran and jumped into the 2 jeeps to the airstrip for a 10.30am departure. But to our surprise we stopped just round the corner to be shown a “surprise” Esther Taban had purchased a maize grinder from the proceeds of her farming over the last 3 years. She had hoped to ask us to press the button to make the first firing of the machine but it was not quite bolted in – but still a HUGE achievement! Esther was one of the initial farmers in kajo Keji before the war learning from Madam Yunia Yango.
Then driving as fast as safe, the 2 jeeps, full of DOKK staff in one and us in another, hurtled as usual to the local airstrip. Exactly on time the plane appeared in the sky and then landed – as always happens, the local school seems to time its break-time to the plane’s daily arrival time and there they all were – laughing, jumping and squealing in excitement
In no time we were up and away for a one stop flight to Kajjanski with Mark the same South African pilot that flew us up.
The rest of the day was spent processing the huge amount of experiences 5 days in the 2 exiled dioceses of South Sudan had had on us.