Still frames / Still life – October

One day I was thinking to myself – I wonder how our lives will change and evolve while we are Sudan….?

Since I am not one to journal I can’t count on that form of self-reflection for processing life. But I do like to take pictures and I think pictures can trigger many feelings and memories. So I decided that on the 1st of every month I would document what we did and in this way, perhaps I will be able to reflect more intentionally.

And then I thought… why not, I’ll post this on the blog too.

Perhaps you will have your own insightful perspectives about our daily activities in Sudan.


October 1, 2010

Our day starts with grinding coffee. Although you can find green coffee beans in the market, we have bought roasted beans outside of Sudan and brought them back with us. The smell of freshly ground coffee beans is really quite something in the mornings. Almost better than the caffeine-induced energy burst from actually drinking coffee. Almost.

We take an anti-malarial pill every morning. This is the end of the rainy season so the mosquitoes are still bad. Malaria has been particularly hard this year, from what we hear from doctors, we are fortunate that we have never experienced it. Down the hatch!

We usually eat breakfast outside the dining hall on the compound where we live. There is a lot of construction work going on these days around the compound, so our surroundings are in a state somewhere between disrepair and beauty.

This morning (a Friday) we had bread and cake for breakfast. The cake was totally unexpected and we think it was a late congratulations gift from our neighbours for our Dinka graduation the day before. We supplemented the bread with some homemade organic peanut butter (in the Milo container) and wild honey, both of which we bought in the local market. The honey is reminiscent of buckwheat honey, but the flavour is probably due to bees getting into the sorghum, which is grown in abundance here.

Since it is the beginning of the month we need to send in our financial report. This is always a very confusing time, but luckily Joel figured it out this time without too many headaches and fights. Later in the morning we noticed that lots of big trucks were backed up on the road outside. This was the first time we had ever seen this happen so we had to go check it out. It turns out it is because of construction work on the road – also a first.

For coffee break we enjoyed some Tim Hortons that was brought to us by an MCCer who had gone home for a wedding. So good.

Then I prepared for teaching in the afternoon.

It started raining and so, since our water pump was broken and we had no running water, we went to collect rain water from our roof.

For lunch there was pasta and greens provided at our guesthouse and we decide to also add some tuna and BBQ sauce. Somehow BBQ sauce has become a large part of our diet here.

After lunch on Wednesdays (but this day a Friday), I am scheduled to teach a Peace Class at the nearby Loreto Girls’ Secondary School. I got a ride with Robinson and Frauke who are also teaching some extra classes – debate and drama.

The roads were wet from the morning rain so we had to drive carefully as to not splash anyone. If we do there could be trouble!

The eight girls in my class wrote a peace alphabet in class and then we talked about different conflict resolution styles.

After the Peace Class the students had a debate – on unity or separation for Southern Sudan. There was an adjudicator, judges, and a captive audience. Separation won.

In the evening before supper at 7:30 Joel worked on his basket and we did some reading outside our place.

We have to rig up a solar camping shower because we don’t have running water. We also don’t have electricity (part of the same problem as the water…). The sun sets at 7pm so, while we use lamps to read a bit more in the evening, we go to bed earlier than we have since we were young(er).


P.S. Joel and I are leaving on our first non-working vacation today and are very excited. We realized that the last time we had this type of holiday was before we left Korea. It is definitely time.

We will be travelling around western Kenya for a week enjoying flamingos, tea, lakes, and cheese.


5 comments on “Still frames / Still life – October

  1. Carrie Catton says:

    Wow, I’m so very excited, and humbled by the work you are doing.
    It puts my petty struggles in perspective.
    Thoughts and prayers are with you both


  2. […] has been one year since I started to photograph the 1st of the month. Last year October 1 found us living in Pandoor, eating a mediocre breakfast, collecting rainwater, doing some office […]

  3. […] has been one year since I started to photograph the 1st of the month. Last year October 1 found us living in Pandoor, eating a mediocre breakfast, collecting rainwater, doing some office […]

  4. […] (since our short-wave radio’s batteries died and the batteries in the market aren’t very good), hand-grind coffee beans, refill our kerosene stove (easier said than done), make a breakfast for champions […]

  5. […] October 1, 2010 – Was an average Sudan day with teaching and office work. […]

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