It is not easy to write about certain things.
The capital city is easy, and so are funny stories about flights in small aircraft and descriptions of tiny but widespread towns in the middle of nowhere.
Even slavery, after the fact, is a lighter subject than some.
And so it took me a long time before I could write this.
This is what I also saw.
And it’s the part that I didn’t enjoy but had to go through anyway.
These are patients waiting in front of the old building to see the doctor. It is extremely hot, even in February, and the shadow of the building does not help as much as you might think it does. It merely makes sitting there doable. The background shows a few huts that people really do live in.
I don’t remember what I was told happened to that boy’s leg.
The local doctor, Christian Solidarity’s Dr Luka Deng, could save his leg but they are constantly afraid of a final infection losing him the leg. The boy has to be very careful.
I was told that this boy lost the use of his hands when as a child he played with a hand grenade.
It was called a “civil war” as if everyone in Sudan decided to fight each other, but in reality it was a very one-sided genocide. The poverty-ridden south, for the longest time simply a source of slaves for the north, didn’t attack the north and no southern militia left hand grenades lying around the north. But the south became a battlefield.
I didn’t want to remember if this girl lost the use of her hands because of an accident or because of the war. I was told later that her master burned her hands, but I don't remember that from the moment. Her hands burned and there was no medical help available that could have done anything in time. At the time this picture was taken Dr Luka was in the process of sending her to Nairobi for medical attention in a major hospital. I have to admit that I don’t even know how that story ended.
This year I hope I will see the endings of some of the stories.