Archive for September, 2012

Nearly time to go

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

The last few weeks have meant lots to do to prepare but also lots of travel vaccinations, rabies, hepatitis b, meningitis, cholera – and an order for a great many malaria tablets. And the practice nurse suggested I also have a flu jab! Should be prepared for anything now.

I’ve now got my flight details, flying from Heathrow on 30th September, an overnight flight with Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa, then a short flight to Juba.

Until last week the advice was that I would get my visa on arrival at Juba airport but then it all changed. I was to¬† apply in person at the Embassy in London and it might take 14 days before I got my passport back. So I cancelled everything and went to London on the train on Tuesday. I found the Embassy address – a nice building just off Euston Road but the only sign on the building identified it as the headquarters of the National Union of Teachers. The Receptionist directed me to the 4th floor where another Reception Desk served 60 different organisations who were based on the 3rd and 4th floors, including the Embassy. A very tall African lady came and found me and I followed her downstairs and around a maze of corridors until we came to a door with no name or anything on it. Inside the office were two men working at computers and also the lady’s desk. This seemed to be the Embassy and it was another salutary reminder of how different a developing country and its resources are, compared with our own society. But the process was straightforward and very efficient and my Visa was entered into my passport there and then – no question of keeping my passport for 2 weeks.

So everything is set in terms of official papers and transport – I expect my next post on the blog will be from Juba!