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Unusual excuse to avoid a meeting

Hello everyone. My name is Philip and I have just transferred to the JEN office in Juba from London England.

One of my first assignments was to visit our school building project sites and meet with the local community leaders. As JEN is working hard to make sure our projects will benefit local people for a long time, it is very important to make sure that they are involved in all decisions and participate as much as possible so that they feel the school really belongs to them. But for me, this means lots of meetings.

091112 In Sudan, we must expect the unexpected to happen. So when I arrived at the village for the arranged meeting, I was not completely surprised when some of the people were absent from the meeting. However, when they told me that the reason was because they had gone to battle my mouth must have been wide open in astonishment! In fact, they had simply gone to protect the area where their land borders another community, as there had been some disagreements between young people from the neighbouring district. I am pleased to say that nobody was hurt. However, when I had arranged the meeting, I had not expected to see bows and arrows. Indeed, it was the most unusual reason for cancelling a meeting that I have experienced so far.

At least our job here is Juba is never boring.

November 12, 2009 in South Sudan |