Sometimes, after being here for more than three months, something drives homes the fact that I am not in Kansas no more, to misquote a famous book.
We we're heading over to the local SPLA barracks to liaison with their commanding officer, which we do once a month - life is easier if they know what we are up to and where we're going - but it was my first time since I'm now the Deputy Team Site Leader* in addition to being G1 and also Acting G3...
Anyhow, back to the barracks. Just a quick list of the top of my head; no fence around camp, no barracks as I know them but tukuls** instead, no straight lines, families living with the soldiers and - and this is what brought the message home - lots of goats and chickens running around.
The higher officers we interacted with on the other hand could been straight out of any European Armed forces though; polite, well spoken, obviously educated not just on the battle field... and much easier to gain access to than the higher ups back home. I would have to have a darn good reason just to knock on the door of the base commander back home, but here? "Let's say hello to him and introduce you."
Oh, and one other difference. Back home, when you're meeting someone in their office you'll get the option of coffee or tea. Here? A soft drink and a bottle of water.
After the meeting I went on a regular Town Patrol and took a few minutes to just enjoy nature down by the Yei River... photos will be forthcoming once I get it of the camera of the other UNMO who was with me.
Also, this is the 100th post to my blog. Go me!
*) More work and responsibilities for the same paycheck...
**) A tukul (spelling varies) is the traditional hut made of a wooden framework covered in mud with a thatch roof.