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12/16/2010

Working with the Community … It is Tough

I was afraid of water and I could not swim at all. However, I became able to cross River Nile by canoe when I went to an island near Juba to conduct a survey for a project needs.

Firstly, I got on the canoe, which was only one mean of transportation for the island, by using all my courage to check living environment of people in that island.  I saw that children are swimming in the river and my fear was gradually increasing. After 10 minutes, I finally calmed down and enjoyed the guide by the boatman.

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Apparently, there is no “toilet” in Gondokoro Island at all! In spite of the fact that it was only 2 km away from Juba which was a capital city of Southern Sudan, this big island had been isolated because there was no bridge to that island and it was not able to take supply to that island.

I was told that the island was used as a hub for slave and ivory trade for Arabian invaders. Children in the island told me about a rich British couple who move into that place in 1940s. The children enjoyed having local mangos while they were talking.  That was true that that island was perfect to live.

Most people who settled in the island were engaged to agriculture or grazing. The food harvested in that island was counted on food supply of big city Juba. The livestock they had was used as marriage gift from gloom’s family to bride’s family.

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Although I fought to fear of water and arrived to the island in the end, we were not allowed to have a discussion with community members and take pictures since it was in the middle of election campaign for local referendum.

That is all for the news flash this time.

December 16, 2010 in South Sudan |