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12/10/2009

My Reflective Experience since October 2009

091210_20090817_jpf2_morobo_okollow The past two months of working with JEN has been an extremely enriching experience for me as well as a reflective account of my recent work experience in South Sudan.  I could not help but marvel at the huge difference of culture and environment among the Sudanese people.  Having lived and worked previously in Wau/Raga Western Bahr El Ghazal, it was the use of Arabic that stunned(?) me.

Communities in Central Equatoria rarely speak Arabic, instead preferring to use local language ( mainly Bari)  or English. Surprising for me equally was the fact that everyone seemed to understand and  speak English, which makes communication a lot easier.

This is also reflected in the quality of JEN’s activities on ground. During one of my field visits, I came across young girls fetching water at a water point in a school (installed by JEN but serving about 700 households in 4 nearby villages) cleaning their Jerry cans with sand.  They did it so vigorously as though in competition I was prompted to ask them why.  They told me that this was meant to ensure that water was not contaminated and that it reached home in the same safe condition as it was when collected at the borehole.  They said they learnt all this from JEN’s hygiene education programmes.

0912010_20090817_jpf2_morobo_okollo Field work and especially movement from one place to another can be complex, tiring, and stressful, but by realizing the impact our projects are having on ground, it becomes motivating, challenging, and renews my energies to want to do more.

Working with  Japanese people for the first time has equally made me adopt the culture of hard work hence I am slowly but surely becoming a Japanese!

December 10, 2009 in South Sudan |