Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Some of my favorite Sudanese expressions and the names of places that make me smile:

Somehow -
- Adjective (in Sudan at least)
1. Instead of saying that you are doing well or doing badly, you are always just doing 'somehow'
2. Ie: "How are you? Somehow. "How was your trip to Juba? Somehow.

1. As a way to say can you imagine? but said only as Imagine! (with a certain emphasis that I can't convey in text)
2. Ie:"I was hit by a truck, lost my bag, and then was chased by a crazy goat and ended up not being able to come into work." Response: Imagine!!

Those of **
- Adverb
1. This is used to describe one person or a group of people and who you belong to.
2. Ie: "where are those of John?"- This could mean John himself, John and his family, John and the organization he works for, John and his dog, etc. etc.

1. Usually a greeting to someone in the morning, but in Sudan it's used as a greeting at any time of day. Children will yell "morning" to you after the sun has gone down (this is especially true in Juba)

1. To give up to your enemy. But in Sudan you can surrender to many things
2. ie: Most commonly used when you can't finish your food or drink- you say I 'surrender' as if you your food has won.

Bukra Inshallah-
1. In Arabic this literally translates to "Tomorrow, God willing". It's used basically to say that it will never ever ever happen. But, if God was willing it, then tomorrow it will happen...

Here are some names of places in Sudan which are amusing:
- The towns of Wau and Yei! Wow! Yay!
- The Kuku tribe
- Budi county.
- The town of Isoke. Rumor has it that the first Kawaja came here said of the place-'it's okay' and it stuck!

You have to love the English language and it's many interpretations in other parts of the world. If anyone else has their own favorite Sudan expressions or places- send me a comment.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A dream come true

I recently posted a story about how much I love to fly in Sudan and how I've wanted to become a pilot. Well, my dream came true when I recently flew from Agok to Loki! I boarded a missionary flight (who knew that the Church had enough money to buy all these planes- maybe I'm in the wrong field?) The first part of the flight was from Agok to Rumbek. I was leaving Sudan suddenly for unfortunate family reasons, but somehow this flight made it a better way to leave. I had a moment of panic when getting on the plane and realizing that it was only the pilot and I. I had images of the pilot passing out, having a heart attack, freaking out, suddenly becoming suicidal, etc, and being alone up in the air with no idea what to do next or even how to radio for help. So, the fact that he let me sit in the copilot seat was really only a security measure in case something were to happen right? I told the pilot that I had always wanted to fly and that my grandfather had been in the Royal Air Force during WWII so the pilot kindly agreed to give me a lesson on how to fly. (Thank you to the pilot if you ever read my blog!) He taught me not only to fly in the air, but how to land in Rumbek and take off again! You can't imagine the rush of pulling back on the controls and having the whole plane go up in the air. The second part of the flight was to Loki which means that we flew over the Eastern Equatoria area where I used to work. (At this point we had other passengers, so the pilot put the controls back on autopilot so they wouldn't get motion sickness from my jerky movements) I told the pilot about my love for the hills of Eastern Equatoria after which the flight turned into somewhat of a personal scenic flight. We flew in circles around the Didinga hills to see the villages perched up on top of the hills completely isolated from anyone else. The pilot checked out the runway perched on top of the mountain which looked impossible to land on (causing quite a scare to the other two passengers on the plane). One misjudgement and you fall of the side of the mountain... He flew the plane so that I could get the perfect shot of my favorite place in Sudan. Now, only in Sudan would you have a day like this- I can't imagine just being given the controls of a plane anywhere else in the world and being given a personal tour like this!