It 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 work, and teaching. Last year October was a really great month with some excellent celebrations and a much needed holiday. But it was followed by many very difficult months, physically and emotionally. Thankfully, I think life has sorted itself out again and we have found a new rhythm and rhyme to our life in South Sudan.
This Saturday, October 1 found us on a parish visit to Agangrial. We love this parish because there are Korean missionaries that live here and they feed us delicious food. It is a place that helps us connect where we have come from and what we are doing now. It is also in the middle of the bush, so it is (mostly) quiet and serene, but has great internet. We came to Agangrial this weekend to meet some new priests who have moved here and talk about how we might work together in the future. We came with Kaitlyn, who works with women’s groups in the diocese, Jano, who works with solar power projects in the diocese (along with many other things), and Luke, who doesn’t work for the diocese but decided he wanted to come and see what a parish visit was all about.
Before we could reach Agangrial on Friday though, we had to travel through some flooded roads. The car we were caravanning with got stuck in the mud, properly (as they say here). After a couple of snapped ropes, unloading the 750 kilos of maize from the back, and a few hours, we were on our way again.
Saturday found us rested and recovered from our journey. In the morning we marveled at the height of the sorghum and visited with the Sisters. We watched a movie about Saint Francis of Assisi. A goat was purchased and the Koreans went to work cooking up a feast for Fr Francis’ birthday. We also had a meeting with the Fathers.
The birthday lunch feast also included many flies (see Joel chasing away flies). In the afternoon we played some games, Joel (the birder) found a fallen birds’ nest, I taught Sophia, a volunteer at the mission, how to bake a cake, and Joel cut down some trees to allow more sunlight to find the solar panels.
The evening meal was another Korean feast with kimchi, seaweed soup, spam, and birthday cake. An impromptu concert with guitar, trumpet, and clarinet brought a great end to our day.