Catching Up

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May 7th 2010
Published: May 7th 2010
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This entry is long overdue as much has happened since my last post. I will give a brief Summary of the last few weeks and will add pictures in the next few days.

After completing training in Khartoum, I was tasked to Team Site Julud in the province of Southern Kordofan, in Northern Sudan; it was an area of significant fighting during the war. Upon receiving my tasking I quickly contacted the team site in order to get an idea of what to expect. Only to be told there was absolutely no accommodations available. The other major point was that fresh and decent food was difficult to obtain in Julud. This resulted in my deployment to my team site being delayed as I was not about to deploy with nowhere to live. After several days of discussion with various levels of the UN we came to a solution that would allow me to escape the Khartoum Abyss. One of the Dutch UNMO's (Albert) was heading out on leave so he would let me use his container, in that time 3 people would be leaving for end mission, thus clearing up some accommodations. (a side note: the UN in all it's glory has decided that I should still pay full price for accommodations for the borrowed container despite the fact that Albert would still be paying, so much for sub-letting)

The delay forced me to wait until 27 April to finally leave Khartoum as there are limited flights on Weekends (Friday and Saturday) and I was not able to get my documents signed in time to make the Sunday/Monday flights, things worked out well otherwise.. I deployed to Kadugli the Sector HQ on the 27th. The Helo from Kadugli to Julud only flies on Sunday and Thursday, giving me a day and a half to relax in Kadugli.

I was well taken care of by the UNMOs in Kadugli, as they are aware that all new comers come without all our kit and food (we can only take 20 Kg of carry on, which left 100Kg to ship). Uma (Thailand), John(Peru), and Opp(Thailand), ensured I was well feed and took me in to Kadugli town (10 min from HQ) to go to the market. Kadugli is more austere than Khartoum and poverty is more clearly evident. The roads and infrastructure are mediocre at best, the buildings and vehicles are of much lower quality. However, it still offers many amenities and the market is relatively well stocked.

My flight to Julud was on the morning of 29 April. John drove me to the airport in the morning where I waiting for my flight. Taking the same flight were two other UNMO's from Julud, Kelvin (Zambia) returning from leave, Jun (China) from a course in Khartoum, as well Eissa (SAF) one of the TS national Monitors was on the flight. The flight was operated my the India Air Force aboard an MI-17, there was only the 4 of us as passengers and I quickly checked the cargo and saw that all my unaccompanied luggage had made it onboard. This was a nice little perk as many people wait 2-4 weeks before their cargo arrives, so I would have some food until my care packages start arriving. The flight was short and uneventful, I had been told by others that many people get airsickness onboard but our flight was relatively smooth (maybe they had Russian pilots). Within about 30 minutes I was making my first landing in Julud Paradise.

I will leave my first impressions and Days in Julud for a new entry.

Additional photos below
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Sudanes CoffeeSudanes Coffee
Sudanes Coffee

Me learning how to drink coffee in proper Sudanes Fashion

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