Apologies for silence on the blog. I have been out and about working in the field – one of my favourite places to be. However, travelling to the field and being in the field does of course come with its host of stories. First and foremost, South Sudan is a stunningly beautiful country. You will see this as a common theme throughout the future blog posts. Here a picture from my trip to Torit, Eastern Equatoria State.
However, travelling around South Sudan is not always the easiest endeavour. Especially if you do it by road. And from what I hear, we are lucky now as the roads were much worse up to even a couple of years ago. But still, there have been times where I have literally spent 3 hours travelling 30km (and by the end you also feel sometimes wonder if you have dislocated your shoulder as you are gripping the handle in the car for dear life).
Usually the roads (or “roads”) are quite empty and you may be the only vehicle for many many kilometers. So traffic really is the least of your problem (big relief from Nairobi). But there will come the odd occasion when you are stopped. Here is my top 3 causes of traffic in South Sudan:
Part of the blame here does of course go to the raods. But part also go to really not very clever drivers. Like the picture on top. Lorry on the Right got stuck. Fair enough, it had rained and the road gave way (again, during the rainy season this is a frequent sight). But on the left we have the tanker who honestly thought he could get past. Well, surprise he didnt. Added information to the photo. On the other side, the lorry drivers have pitched their tents. They have been/will be there for a while. There is also a long line of lorries (thankfully no other lorry driver felt the need to push past). Oh and when we finally got to Torit, there was also no petrol. Wonder where that had been held up.
Cattle command a lot of respect in South Sudanese society. Thus it is an unwritten rule, that cattle do have priority on the road. Above situation required switching off the engine and waiting till they had passed.
Yes, the (argubly) cute furry little animals. You would’ve thought small goat vs. huge 4 by 4 vehicle, goat would move. No. The scenario is more like 4 by 4 vehicle drives up. Goat turns over and suns his/her/their othersides. Vehicle hoots. Goats don’t move. Vehicle hoots again. No reaction. Driver switches off engine. Gets out, stands over the goats and physically makes them move. No joke.
Yes, thats life on the road in South Sudan for you.