Friday, June 6, 2008


I have been in Juba since Wednesday, but still haven't managed to get much of a feel for the city. After reading conflicting reports about the size of the city from home, I can say that tales of how expensive it is are true ($20 for some toothpaste and ramen noodles) and I'm still not sure exactly how many people are here.

I am staying at the "guesthouse" with most of the rest of the staff, and work at a compound closeby. Those two buildings have been my entire orientation to Juba as I'm not allowed to go beyond them by myself, and generally need to be driven anywhere I want to go. I've spoken to friends from school interning with other organizations who are staying in "hotels" (most often tents" in other parts of town, and those basic accomodations range from $150 to $200 a night!

Everyone I work with has been very friendly so far, and they're all surprisingly good natured consideirng that they work and live together. The staff seems to be mostly Kenyan with a few other expats, and a couple Sudanese and other East Africans. I will be working a few hours from Juba in Mvolo, a smaller town about 2.5 hours from Uganda with a population that I've seen estimated at about 26,000.

The rain I'd been promised has just begun, and I've been warned that I could get stuck in Mvolo because the roads turn to mud because none of them are paved. There the conditions have been described as more basic, but everyone has said the local people are very kind and receptive of our programming.

I'm heading home for dinner now, but I'll be sure to send more updates later and when I get to Juba!

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