Saying goodbye to nice guys is always hard, even when you just known them for a month - yesterday we had the farewell dinner for our two Chinese UNMOs, tomorrow we get to see them off on the helicopter.
It was a reasonable somber event - everyone is sad to see them leave, seeing how they are both fun and interesting to hang around with. Their English isn't the best, but down here you soon learn to ignore such trivial details.
On the upside, I've learned that New Tokyo can actually do a pretty nice buffet-style dinner - IF you order in advance. Even if the beef tasted very much like goat, the food was better than what I've gotten at restaurants in Yei so far, and plenty of it too.
However, this instance aside, this highlights part of the problem in UNMIS - or at least the military portion of UNMIS; Most people come here for one year (or even just six months), resulting in a lot of churn on a small Team Site like Yei. If we had been fully staffed (which we ain't), that means 15 fresh UNMOs that needs to learn the ropes every year, and 15 experienced UNMOs that leaves in the same period. Add to that the people who are here mainly to earn cash*, and you end up with a team that is less well suited to our task than the numbers should indicate. Oh well... welcome to the UN.
And a fond farewell to my Chinese friends - for now. Somehow I got the feeling I'll hear from them again at some point.
*) One of my coworkers here makes 500 USD a month at home. Here he makes 136 USD a day to 'cover expenses'. Small wonder he has found a cheap place to live downtown and cooks his own, cheap food. Also small wonder he has gotten malaria twice already.