Series: 11-FEB-B-1 thru B-16
LAUNCH “INTO AFRICA” WITH THE LONG “MIDDLE THIRD” OF OUR GLOBAL PASSAGE FROM MANILA TO NAIROBI THROUGH DUBAI TO BEGIN THE SOUTH SUDAN MISSIONS SERIES
11-FEB-B-1 INDEX to the FEB-B-Series on the missions to South Sudan
2 Our long passage from Asia through the Middle East to into Africa as we launch the series of South Sudan missions into Jonglei Province from Nairobi/Loki and Bor/Werkok, organizing our med/surg mission with our Nairobi joiners to start our health education program among the Dinka and await the arrival of our container of med/surg supplies for the fulfillment of our promise to the competing tribal contenders in Western Jonglei
4 The day that begins in Nairobi and moves through Wilson Field after a pharmacy pickup and a flight in the Cessna 208 through Loki to arrive in Werkok for a welcome session and a tour of the facilities as we settle in at Werkok.
5 The day begins with my pre-dawn run despite a bad URI along the deserted roadway to return in time for a major meeting with all the MCH staff and the formal introduction to the community with our fulfilling their promise of two items we seek to leave behind to help them: the container that crossed the border at Juba this morning and more importantly the skills we hope to indigenize as illustrated by John Joch in his capable repair before either the plane or the container arrived; we set up the clinic and tutorials front end loaded for those three returnees who will not be going forward to PiBor where expectations could not be any higher
6 A dawn run that brings out three other of our team to run at Werkok as I am still resolving the URI, a long effort at completing the reports of the mission is completed, then mystically deleted, being lost, as we are sweltering in the dry season sun awaiting the arrival of the container and reviewing tropical medicine tutorials
7 The big story: the personal as well as political crises in cattle culture conflicts that had embroiled our groomed leader in the clan competition takes an uglier turn in a still more intense crisis with the proposed father-in-law’s fraudulent default of the concluded but unconsummated marriage proposal of blood-linked clans, each in pursuit of fertility of humans and cattle and seek any chance of enriching themselves through the bonanza of outside donor exploitation; the macro culture conflict illustrated perfectly in the micro culture crisis around the pivotal figure of Ajak – a Dinka/Bor re-inserted from abroad into the millenia of nilotic strife.
9 A smooth and successful major operation under spinal anesthesia – a first-time event for each participant, a thorough ultrasound demo and teaching program, and our first trip to Bor to meet and greet the Goss and Jonglei officials as Jacob has been diverted to Juba once again to free up the obstructed delivery of our container of supplies now planned for arrival the day after tomorrow’s first-ever Jonglei marathon.
10 The big event: the first-ever Jonglei Freedom run on Saturday February 12, 2011, just ahead of the announcement of the results of the referendum and in order to set up for a potential entry of the new state as yet-to-be-announced into the international sporting competitions of the olympics: The Jonglei Marathon; I came in first in my age group – in fact, I came in first in the top seven age groups!
12 The beginning of our full working week at Werkok with everything but the container accomplished as we begin with a major intrabdominal case – the now obsolete term “ex lap” with U/S images in place. Our Clinical work week start up is disrupted by a lethal raid by Murle dacoits on the sister of a close friend of Ajak’s and a kidnapped child
13 Turning from the distractions of inter-clan hostilities to the health care for which our team is equipped to treat, we have a full clinic and the operating room delayed for reaction to the pre-op antibiotic prophylaxis. As we are inserting the spinal anesthesia, wonder of wonders! The container truck rolls up to MCH and we unload its contents in the middle of a busy clinic and or schedule, changing many plans as we store the abundance of supplies from Derwood and Toledo now safely arrived intact on the far side of the globe on Valentine’s Day!
14 Another big day: beginning in clinic and or at MCH and then a field trip to Bor to visit the Jonglei governor, and then a real field trip to a leper colony to dress wounds and to attract support for them; then I delegate the drill on tutorials to John Sutter for the night with the indigenous staff each assigned topics as I drop off in Bor to spend the night to be ready to testify in court in Ajak’s support on the matter of the injustice in his absconded bride wealth.
15 An afternoon in transit to Bor to meet with an absent governor, and then on to Malek, to enter the century-old leprosy camp and attend to the 470 patients inside the barbed wire of the now-neglected leprosy colony on the banks of the White Nile river as we dress trophic ulcers and note leonine facies and claw hands, the subjects of last night’s tutorial, and then to retire in Bor at the new Freedom Hotel, a refuge for NGO’s and UN workers in preparation for tomorrow’s court date in Bor.
16 Our Bor court date for appearance in support for the case of Ajak’s restoration of all family and friends’ cattle wealth absconded in his betrothal bid for Tabitha in the big wedding reception last year
Series: 11-FEB-C-1 thru C-6
OUR RELOCATING WITH A SMALLER TEAM AS WE MOVE TO PIBOR, HEADQUARTERS OF THE MURLE
17-FEB-C-1 INDEX to the FEB-C-Series on the missions to South Sudan
2 Departing Werkok/Bor, mis-givings on security aside, as our team drops off three of our members and flies forward with our Sudanese assistants to have the “ownership” of our peace overture be an all-indigenous and ongoing constructive development
3 Our full day in PiBor with the Murle in our clinical review of their problems and attempts to address them in half a thousand outpatients “under a tree” in our “mobile clinic” trying to stay in the Neme tree’s shade, and then set up a surgical suite in our sleeping quarters.
4 The night of the “Waymool” as Sahara winds blow down and dessicate all moisture, then turn and rain on the pan roof; we had an evening scorpion stomping at our door, and a stroll with the Rev. Oruzu in talking of the transformation efforts to teach agronomy to pastoralists to reduce violence and improve nutrition.
5 Another overfull day in PiBor begins with out visit to the PiBor church where we are introduced by the first Murle to have ever visited America, and behind us sits an elder in the community church who is the first person to have ever been operated in PiBor, with a thousand people who had been treated in our clinic under the trees, as the Sunday school does their stylized dance song and we adjourn to a burgeoning clinic under the trees to return to operate on still bigger cases under flawless spinal anesthesia before evening under a full moon.
6 Our last day in the PiBor area as we evaluate the potential for reconstruction for the Lakanga clinic and hospital as we return our post-op patients and the final day’s load of outpatients before getting on the outbound plane for the long transfer to the final stages of our African expedition in CAR. We arrive in Werkok and meet up with Scott Downing and Tim Williams and await permits to fly direct to Zemio, which keep us overnight in Werkok at MCH.
Series: 11-FEB-D-1 thru D-8
THE EXPEDITION TO CAR WITH SCOTT DOWNING AND TR TEAM TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS OF CONGOLESE REFUGEES FROM “OUT OF ASSA”
11-FEB-D-1 Index to the Feb-D-Series of the CAR mission to Congolese refugees
4 An incredible stagger start toward CAR, with this text begun in an UDPF camp, as I am hosted by the African force in pursuit of the LRA Joseph Kony in hiding in this tropical bush, as I have lunch with Comandante Stefano and between an MRT-8 and an AN-2 — the forty four year old aircraft that is a Soviet era biplane with painted sharks’ teeth as our near comic air carrier by UPDF, a wild ride between light machine guns in pickup truck through red dust roads ending in Naivasha Hotel in Yambio.
5 An early start on a longer wait in Yambio at the Naivasha hotel with the governor of the West Equatoria at breakfast, as we await the UDPF and a flight to Obo where we hope to end up after our three day wait to get into CAR as Job waits with the caravan to join us when permits clear.
7 Another day of waiting as we mobilize early to arrive at Nzara for near-empty UDPF MI-8 chopper flight to Obo air strip and mission station built by Russ Miller, Scott’s father-in-law, as every big organization (UDPF, UN, MSF, CAR government) temporizes as fifth day delay of refugees who are all organizations’ constituencies
8 Could it be worse? We get the good news that the president and ministry in Bangui finally give verbal approval to our AIM Air flight into Zemio, but in the aftermath of last week’s elections and an incomplete cabinet appointment, and at work week’s end, no paper is typed and signed permitting our landing in Zemio; we had scrambled to load the plane, and now return for a third night in the Naivasha hotel and a full week wasted in waiting; I hope to at least launder my clothes, but the hotel has run out of water; we now have to consider aborting the mission and flying out to Entebbe and return to Nairobi for our international connections to Chad and the USA.