All in South Sudan
As we left people kept calling out words of thanks. It felt strange and awkward. Why were these people thanking me?’, I asked one of my colleagues. ‘They are thanking you for coming, for your presence, for sharing this time with them.
Together, we celebrate what it means to be alive, to be living and working together; one team made up of many nations. Although our backgrounds are very different, we are-brought together by our shared experience of living in Agok and of caring for and serving our patients. Together, we celebrate the newest country in the world. It is an atmosphere pregnant with hopes, longings and anticipation; all finely balanced upon a fragility, which speaks of defeat, loss and the exhaustion that comes with being resigned to a life of war.
Even when we live together, we segregate ourselves. We form our little groups, find our place of comfort and all too often forget that there is much to be learned from the very people who we find ourselves judging. We miss out on this deep well of great beauty when we fail to take the time to hear people’s stories. I don’t say this as an admonishment. These words are for me as much as they are for you.
After 7 flights and almost 6 days of travel, I have finally arrived in Agok. I took a small, 8-10 seater World Food Program plane to get here and arrived on a dirt landing strip covered with children who barely made it out of the way before the wheels made contact with the earth.