Out of the city!

Monday 29th October

I am a volunteer with VSO but all entries on this blog are my personal responsibility alone and do not represent the views of VSO.

The big news is that I have been out of the city for the first time. Yesterday we went to Nimule, a national park beside the Nile, down near the Uganda border. There were 6 of us, 3 Brits, 1 Dutch, I Canadian and 1 Sri Lankan plus our guide, an enterprising South Sudanese man who, alongside his main job, is developing an embryonic tourism business. Not much activity now but there must be potential. It took over 3 hours to get there but a fairly good road – only completed early last year. It is the only tar road in the country outside the urban areas. Saw small monkeys in various places. Along the way we went through our guide’s home village. He left as a child in 1992 and spent the next 14 years in Uganda in a refugee camp. A typical story.

At the park we picked up a ranger (armed) and drove down to edge of the Nile, went on a boat for 20-30 minutes. Landed on bank and then walked for 1 to 1½ hours, very quietly through the bush. Saw antelopes – nothing else but it was still a great experience.

We got back in the boat and went further upstream. One bank was in Uganda but the border was pretty informal. In fact we got messages from the mobile phone company welcoming up to Uganda!

As we set off from the border town for Juba we were stopped by a police woman checking papers as the road from Uganda is used extensively by all the trucks coming through with all supplies, and some people.

First half of journey back was OK but then it got dark and that was no fun. Vehicles delayed putting lights on for ever and then later there would be vehicles parked on side of road with no lights at all. Very pleased to see the hustle and bustle of Juba again!

But it had been a good day – and good to see something of rural Africa – away from the city.

One Response to “Out of the city!”

  1. Tim Davison says:

    John, so glad you haven’t been eaten! Trust you are enjoying the warmth while the temperature gauges plummet back home. Think of us next week moving the remaining 3 Middleway residents. Tim

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