South Sudan Trip

Dear all,

Thank you for your prayers and support. Brent and I have made it back safe and sound. Due to lack of internet access in South Sudan, I was not able to write blog as planned. But I’m have handwritten notes that I would like to share with you. Long blogs are sometimes boring, thus I am going to post a new blog every 3 days. I hope you will enjoy them.

First, I would like to give a special thanks to Mary Silk and Mary Dunnam for making this trip to South Sudan possible.  Also, I’d like to extend my sincere thank you and appreciation to all our donors. Because of your generosity, we have sponsored two students who are attending quality universities in Nairobi, Kenya—Brent and I will tour their school campuses in January. Those students would have never made it to college without your support. You are changing lives one at time.  I’m leaving today, December 6th, 2011 and Brent will meet me in South Sudan next month, January 2012.

I fled home 20 years ago after an attack on my village that left many people dead and displaced thousands more. After more than 50 years of constant civil war, South Sudan gained independent on July 2011 and was warmly welcomed and recognized by the international community. Nearly 4 million have died and all basic infrastructures destroyed. But I have a country at last. Now, I’ll have the right to worship without fear of persecution, and not to be treated as second class citizen.

I’m very excited to go and work on the Liliir Education Project in South Sudan and to see my family again after 20 years in exile.  The flight will take off in 30 minutes at about 1:30PM. It’s going to be a long flight, almost 10 hours from Seattle to Amsterdam. To be able to take a long nap and make this trip more comfortable, I reserved the window seat to avoid people walking to and from the toilets from bumping into my seat. We arrived to Amsterdam at about 8am local time. Then we took off for Nairobi.

Service was good on both flights. We had several meals, refreshments, and flight attendants were very polite. I remember the mysteries food on the flights when I came to America in 2001. I was not familiar with some Western countries food and I spent more than 30 hours without eating anything. On the flight, I was given pat of butter, ketchup, salad, canned fish, and other mysteries food.

We arrived to Nairobi, Kenya at about 9pm local time. I spent more than two hours standing in immigration line. My younger brother and a cousin have been waiting for me at the airport for more than four hours. Driving in Nairobi is crazy. People drive on the left side of the road. Most roads are not marked and sometime drivers can just go whatever way they wish. Our taxi driver was nice, but he was impatient. There was a large volume of cars on the road causing traffic jams.  The driver kept hitting brake too hard, getting off road, and drove on what is supposed to be a sidewalk to pass the car ahead. But thanks God, we made it home safely. We arrived home after midnight.  My nieces and nephews whom I’ve met only on the phone were staying up late, waiting to see their uncle for the first time. I feel blessed to have such loving nieces and nephews.

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