A somewhat enlightening interview with Joel Kroeker

You came to South Sudan to be a Peace and Justice Coordinator, but I have recently noticed that you have acquired some new skills. Would you like to enlighten us about these?

Are you talking about my ability to make awesome Excel spreadsheets?

Is that what you would like to talk about?

Not really.

Is there anything else?

I’ve learned how to tan goat skin.


I don’t know what you are talking about.

Yes you do. We talked about this.

Enlighten us on your new skills…

Enlighten is the hint.

Does it have to do with solar power?


I see.


Yes, I have recently acquired new skills in solar system installation.

What have you all installed?



The sun.

Oh, you don’t mean that solar system? I thought you were talking about my solar dioramas made out of tin foil from left-over pizza. My bad.

I’ve also helped install a larger solar system in one of the parishes in the diocese. As well as our own solar system for our house. And I installed our new solar fridge.

What was the best part about the installations?

Not getting electrocuted.

How have these solar installations changed your life in Rumbek?

We now have lights in our house whenever we want. We can charge our computers. And we can have cold beverages.

Why are you interested in solar electricity?

I’ve been interested in alternative and sustainable energy production for awhile. And I like working with my hands. So I wanted to learn more about this.

Who is your mentor?

His name is Jano Rusnak.


Because he is awesome.

How will these skills be translated into your future life?

You and I are hoping to set up a yurt in Saskatchewan, perhaps. And it would be nice if we could use sustainable energy in that nice place. So I figured it would be a useful skill.

Any last comments?

You are also awesome.


4 comments on “A somewhat enlightening interview with Joel Kroeker

  1. kaitlyn says:

    My favourite part:

    Who is your mentor?

    His name is Jano Rusnak.


    Because he is awesome.

    I must ask: Is he named Jano Rusnak because he is awesome or is he awesome because he is named Jano Rusnak? Also – I think Heather should send her inquiry to the people who chose to name their son Jano Rusnak, I think it’s a bit presumptuous to assume that Joel would know why he is named in such a way.

    Also – I like the interview format. More interview blogs please!!

  2. joel says:

    Oh, Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn. I’m surprised that after two years of knowing Mr Jano “Macgyver” Rusnak, you still don’t know the answer to these simple questions. The name “Jano” in Slovakian translates to “one who is awesome”. “Rusnak” is his family’s name, which, fittingly, translates as “because it is so”.

    I hope i don’t have to answer many more of these questions in the future. Honestly.

  3. […] – We brought my parents to Rumbek with us in November. Joel installed a solar system for our house and also hooked up the new solar fridge that had arrived from Nairobi. Preparing for and helping to […]

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