Last Day in Duk

A light rain contributed to a pleasing 80 degree morning—though the temp crept into the 90s by mid-afternoon. Still not as brutal as the 100 degree days we have been suffering.

It’s our last day here. Tomorrow around noon, AIM Air will pick Jef and me up on the Duk airstrip. Likely the John Dau Foundation car will carry us and our bags to the strip. When I arrived and departed last November, young men and women carried my bags on their heads through knee deep water because of the over-long and heavy rainy season. It sounds like Fargo will escape a devastating flood this year, however, and we will return in time to see the crest.

The past few days have been exciting for us and for our board back in the United States. This project has been a dream and is now becoming reality. Some members of our work crew went to the bush to cut down branches for interior support of the tukul walls as others dug foundation holes. Now all six tukuls are underway, the uprights in place, and work has begun on the braces for the roofs. Somewhere, thatch is being gathered or purchased, and Joseph Akol Makeer is in Juba purchasing materials for tukul roofing, latrines, showers, water tower and fencing.

It’s too dry here to gather mud, so they’ll send a truck closer to the Nile where the land is wetter. A month or two from now when the rains begin, there’ll be plenty of mud here, but construction will be more difficult. We hope to have all construction finished within the next month.

This morning Jef spent time onsite videotaping and reworking his overall plan in his mind. I rode along with IRD and JDF staff to a health services coordination meeting in Mareng, where the County Commissioner is located. We had hoped to visit him last week, but he was in Bor. He was out yesterday and today as well, but I was able to visit with the Executive Director of the commission office. The health meeting was interesting. Various NGO groups, each with their own missions and funding, are trying to coordinate their efforts to avoid duplicating services in areas that are currently being served and to extend services to areas that are underserved, or not receiving any services at all.

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