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Letters From South Sudan

84. Companions on the Journey

84-1

Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS) is a deliberately chosen name. After a recent visit to South Sudan, SSS Board member, Brother Jorge Gallardo, who has been involved in the project from the beginning, wrote: Just after the signing of the CPA, the Bishops Conference of Southern Sudan appealed to the leaders of Religious Institutes in Rome for help. The Union ...

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83. Worrying Times

83-1

South Sudan has negotiated elections and the referendum, and achieved independence, with remarkable clam and stability. The fears of outbreaks of violence and lawlessness have been largely unfounded and the country has moved smoothly to becoming the world’s newest nation. There has been some inflation in prices and some shortages, especially in northern regions, but one can only say we ...

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82. Simple but Strong

82-6

There was no priest available for mass last Sunday morning. So the communion service was led by the parish catechists. Gabriel, the senior catechist, preached the homily. He is known to be a man of strong faith and simple devotion to the Church he has served, for many years, including the years of war. The parish now has an active ...

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81. How Big is Your World?

81-11

Here I sit in a rural setting in a somewhat remote part of Southern Sudan when two recent events, totally unrelated, got me thinking about the world in which we live. The first was a thoughtful email from one of my confreres in Australia informing me of the death of the captain of the school cricket team in which we ...

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80. Rain on the Roof

80-7

It is only the relatively modern houses in South Sudan, which have galvanised iron or zinc-aluminium roofs. Most people still live in the traditional grass-roof tukuls. Tiled or slate roofs may exist somewhere but I don’t recall seeing them although I have seen roofs that are made from concrete. Those who live in tukuls with grass roofs never hear the ...

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79. Among the People

11

The woman looked very worried. It was 6:30pm on a Saturday evening. I was in our outdoor kitchen – the only kitchen – of our Riimenze house preparing the evening meal when a woman carrying her small child appeared before me. I called Sr Joana who went immediately to her ‘clinic’ to dress the wounds on the hands of this ...

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78. Healing Hands

5

I went ‘under the surgeons’ knife this week’. No it was not a major situation but simply the removal of an unsightly, non-cancerous lipoma on my neck. I had shown it to Sr Maria Martinelli, a surgeon who has been the leader of the Health Training section of Solidarity with South Sudan, who simply remarked: ‘It’s a lipoma. I’ll remove ...

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77. Education in South Sudan

6

I have come to realise that a recurring question jumps into my mind almost every time I see little urchins happily running around the muddy streets of Malakal. They often wave gaily to me and occasionally call out ‘kawadja’ (white man) with big smiles on their faces. Do they think the whole world is like this? ‘Ignorance is bliss’ an ...

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76. The Cat and the Snake

8

I have seen several small snakes near our Malakal house recently. I would guess there are also some big ones and they have seen me! Normally each would give the other a wide berth. Not so our cat. No-one knows the origin of this cat other than it turned up around our house and has formed a mutual bond with ...

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75. Crusty Bread Rolls

1

Life is good in South Sudan at present – and will probably remain so for the likes of me. Anyone who is receiving funds from other countries has a distinct advantage. When our first people came here, they were getting just over two Sudanese pounds to the dollar. For much of last year, the rate was 2.8 or 2.9. That ...

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