Friday, March 30, 2007
Beware of Landmines!
Anytime you leave the compound you have to be aware that there are land mines all around this area (and all of South Sudan). Kapoeta town was fought over heavily by the Northern government and the South, so the SPLA laid down many mines to keep the government in the town during the war and the government did the same to keep the SPLA out. Many roads and villages have been cleared, but there are still some areas where you cannot travel. Doing work sometimes becomes difficult as you must be prepared to not be able to reach certain areas. Aside from the work that we are trying to do, it stops returnees who wish to return to their home free from fear of land mines. Over 80,000 people in this region live in areas that are affected by land mines, and there are casualties every year due to unexploded land mines.
Thank goodness for the de-miners though or else we would not be able to work here at all. And what a job they have too! They move around finding the mines and destroying them. Sometimes you can hear them exploding the mines that they find. At the de-miners compound they have a big collection of bombs that they have found sitting around. The bombs are at least as big as I am, and much heavier... It’s strange to see these bombs and imagine them falling from an airplane onto
It’s no wonder the de-miners like to come over to our compound to relieve some stress. A nice surprise when they came over to the compound along with other NGO workers for a spontaneous Wednesday night party which includes charades. I figure any ex-pat living in Sudan should be good at charades since sometimes that is the only way to communicate when you don’t know the language. Lots of laughs were had, and as you can see- lots of Tuskers (the Kenyan beer)