New Year in Yeitown
Yeitown is located at about three-or-four-hour drive to the south from Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. It is a hub of JEN staff members working in Morobo County and Lainya County, JEN’s project sites; Staff come to Yeitown to feed their cars with oil or stay overnight when necessary.
I asked Samuel, a staff member who spent the year-end and the New Year in Yeitown about New Year’s Day here. Let me share what I heard and experienced.
New Year’s Day is as important as Christmas. They usually go to church as they do on Christmas. So I went to a church at six o’clock on the morning of New Year’s Day. Hundreds of people came to the church despite it was cold in the early morning. It got warmer later.
Finally, around 400 people were at the church built in 1980s, and another hundreds were outside the church. We congratulated ourselves on being able to start a new year for the first time after the independence.
Meals are also important on New Year’s Day. They prepare boiled or grilled meat --beef, pork or chicken -- and vegetable dish for the New Year. Women and girls usually join the church service in the late morning because of the meal preparation.
After the church service, they ate all day at their friends’ house or at home inviting their friends.
They have to spend less money in the rest of January and February because they spent so much on New Year’s Day.
The year 2011 saw a lot of events such as the referendum and the independence. The commodity price increased and conflicts have continued in some areas. On the other day, thousands of attacks occurred in the northern part of South Sudan, and tens of thousands of people were evacuated.
I hope the year 2012 will bring fruitful lives; Economy is stabilized and conflicts calm down which leads to stabilizing peace.