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.

Gray Backed Fiscal Shrike (28)

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



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 May 10, 2014, in South Sudan. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on 10 May 2014 – Last Post.

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