10 May 2014 – Last Post
I woke up early this morning, ready to face the remainder of the time I have left here in South Sudan.
Ironically, the leaders of the warring factions here, will probably sign a peace deal. How long this will last, remains to be seen. This country has a long, hard road ahead of it.
This whole tour had made me rethink my career path. But upon closer reflection, I wonder what else I can do? Nothing comes to mind, so I will plod on through the rest of my years in service, doing the best that I can under whatever circumstances I am asked to do it under….regardless of how others view my performance.
Yesterday was a tearful one. I said good bye to Rose and Irene. I only wish the best for them.
Edward brought a roasted goat for supper and I had one last opportunity to find out about some of the culture in his country of Kenya…he was explaining the symbolism of the goat shoulder at a wedding…how once married, the woman slices the meat up and serves it to the husband and then symbolically cuts the shoulder joint as a severance to her home and family to which she can never go back. Kind of cool.
As I sit on the balcony drinking my coffee for the last time in Juba, I try to capture some of good things over this past six months that I will miss.
I find things that I have tired of, and some that I have not.
I have not yet tired of watching the kites gliding on the drafts, dog fighting over food and swooping across at eye level in front of me.
I have not yet tired of the squeaky wheel shrikes and their antics as the flock of them land on wires and play leap frog, jockeying for position.
I have not yet tired of the sweet little Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu finches and their whistling calls to one another across the compound.
I have not yet tired of watching the ugliest bird in the world soaring high overhead with a majestic wingspan that rivals the albatross.
I have not yet tired of watching the flocks of egrets flying by the house while the sun rises and peeks out above the horizon.
I have not yet tired of cooing pigeons and doves, the complex calls of the weavers that have moved in, the crazy bulbuls or the pied crow that is looking for a mate in our windows.
I certainly haven’t tired of the friends I have made here….Irene and Rose
Rambo, Ibrahim, Goefrey…
And finally, Edward and Philip (Rafiki)….they will always have a special place in my heart and my memory.
And let’s not forget my new friends I made just before leaving, Janelle and Anita!
What I have tired of is being away from my loved ones.
For all that was good here, it was tempered with the not so good. I have experienced the full range of emotions that we expect to go through while on a deployment…and some that we do not.
I guess I have been a part of history once again by coming here. Although I won’t have articles written about me and my name won’t be in any history books as having existed in this part of the world, I would like to think that those who have expressed the fact that they wish I wasn’t going, will hold me in their thoughts long after I have left.
This day closes a door and a chapter in my life. As Tim posted this morning, I think I will nail this door shut but I wonder where the next chapter will take me?
That’s it for today
soldiermomma signing off from Juba for good