10 April 2014 – The Big Year

Well, welcome back! And what a great reception it was when I arrived. Three of my comrades at the airport to meet me and then the biggest hugs ever from the guards when we got back to the compound. It was a nice feeling. SOOO much going on though that I didn’t have time to turn around.

Beth is leaving today…so when I got back here, I dropped my luggage in the office and started working right away…I didn’t get a chance to unpack yet. But that’s okay, everything got done and I am confident that she will be on her way back home and won’t have to worry about anything. It’s nice to know I can do that for people…it takes the stress off them.

The trip over here was uneventful. I lucked out on the leg from Toronto to Addis and got a whole row of seats to myself, so I curled up and slept for most of the 14 hr flight trying to set my clock for when I got here. It seemed to work because I was able to stay awake and get things done and then got a fairly good night’s sleep…not even Bastard or Asshole could wake me this morning!

A noteworthy moment…while killing some time in the airport, I logged onto Facebook, and just as I did, I saw this image of a Pied Kingfisher pop up and I thought it looked familiar…I looked more closely, and it WAS my picture…Africa Geographic had used another one of mine on their timeline! Great way to start my trip.

It’s interesting the people you meet when you travel…of course, I have the Canadian flag displayed proudly on my luggage, so those fellow Canadians who notice it, usually say something. It happened during my 6 hr wait in the airport. There were 3 older folks there who latched onto me trying to pry information out of me after I said was in the military. Turns out they were on their way to tour Northern Uganda and South Sudan as part of some missionary trip. All I told them was “good luck with that” and gave them some sage advice about what areas to avoid. Good luck to them!

Later on, I met up with someone who was actually coming to Juba to fly the planes for the UN. Nice fellow who loaned me his converter so I could charge my tablet. We hung out together and I was able to fill him in on the situation here which he was grateful for. Once we got to the waiting area though, it was a different story. It didn’t look as if he was going to make the flight…his company didn’t provide him with a Visa and all he had was a letter from the UN for travel. Not a great idea, let me tell you! He finally did make the flight, but before I left to board, I had given him out contact number to get in touch in case he had to stay back…they hadn’t even given him any way to contact someone here. So, the helpful person that I am, I had promised to try to find the guy that would be waiting for him in Juba and let him know what was happening and then told him not to worry, to give us a call when he got in and we would take care of him. Turns out it he made the flight, but I would certainly want to know there was someone on the other side ready to help out if I was in his position.

After I finished getting some work done yesterday, the guys downstairs fed me (they had made a going away meal for Beth) and then Beth and I spent our last “estrogen” time together watching “The Big Year”….something we had been talking about for awhile. Thanks for the loaner Andy!

Tim also found out that in September, Aerosmith and Slash are headlining an 8 hr concert in Cape Breton…Beth and her hubby are in, so it looks like we are Cape Breton bound and maybe we can get a Cabot Trail tour in there (and some birding!!!) as well. Sounds promising.

It has been raining here, but WOOT, no more leaks therefore, no more floods! to deal with! The temperature has dropped considerably and it’s more comfortable here…but still hot and now a little more humid.

On a sadder note, I woke up this morning to find out that my cousin’s father passed away last night. I tried to get to see him while I was home, but it just didn’t work. My heart goes out to everyone in the family.

To Gordie….”Ready, Aye, Ready”! Go Navy!

You will be missed.

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off


About lbidal

I am an average woman, of average age, leading an average life...at least on the surface. Sixteen years ago, I chose to spice up the average-ness of my life by putting on combat boots. Some of my blogs reflect my experiences while wearing them. Some blogs are of my passion and hobby, birding and bird photography...and some, well, can't help but blogging about average things living an average life! Enjoy!

Posted on April 10, 2014, in South Sudan. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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