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Sunday 30 January 2011

Lots of pictures from the Long Duration Patrol

Believe it or not - it was hard work selecting which photos to upload and which to keep for myself until later... I strongly suspect I'll have to make a DVD or two with photos and videos to distribute to family and friends when I'm done with my one year in Sudan.

Day one of the LDP:
The Joint Military Team is getting ready to set out, leaving homely comforts behind.
Truck about to fall over after getting stuck? Just prop it up with a handy log - it's better than bad; it's good!
Wonderful straight and even road by the local conditions. Never mind the fact that your filling will rattle out of your teeth if you do much more than 50 km/h...
Yei is in a reasonable flat area, while Morobo is more mountainous - hence the mountains in the distance.
Just passing through the odd village along the road.
The local corner shop in the aforementioned village.
Pretty flat place...
An almost ripe fruit on the "breadnut tree".
Young "breadnuts". The tree the locals call breadnut is most likely a jackfruit tree.
My home for three nights - my very own, genuine African tukul!
Another view of my tukul.
Yet another photo of said tukul - this one showing off the decorations better.
The view through a gap in the hedge.
Rooster and hen. I saw and heard a lot more of these funny creatures during my stay.
It's the door to my tukul!
BanBat Force Protection camped out for free.
It's the... ahem... bathroom. Ablutions on the left, shower room on the right... the shower being a bucket of water.
Lets just say this is the room on the left and leave it at that...
The stall for "short ablutions"...
If you stitch these together you'll get a 180° panorama of the view behind our TPB. Lovely in the morning.
Most of the Team didn't get tukuls, but had to settle for little square rooms instead.
At least BanBat got plenty of fresh air.
Several of the hens in the compound had chicks - but this hen only had one. To compensate she looked extremely well after it.
"Here, have a tasty morsel."
One of the more productive hens.

Day two of the LDP
I think this is what one calls the crack of dawn.
Breakfast and coffee. Because some things are important. It was nice to be able to heat enough water for everyone in the Team though, and they all appreciated it.
This is the local hot water tank with cold water supply standing by...
Sunrise in deepest Africa. The picture don't do it justice by far.
No I have no idea what these are... but they look nice, don't they?
It's a banana tree! With the leftovers of the banana flower still on the stalk!
The bush that made up the majority of the hedge, with little green fruits and cone shaped yellow flowers.
The offices of the County Commissioner - the top dog in the County.
Going out into the bush, we left the good road behind... well, such is life.
Not exactly Norwegian Woods.
See the string across the road? Thar means this is a check point, and you must stop... at least long enough for the guy manning it to get out of the shade to let you pass. Off course you can drive around, but then the guy would be disappointed...
Not much undergrowth in this patch.
Every now and then we passed open areas.
Why open areas? Good question - for cattle perhaps, or later cultivation.
Speaking of cattle, here is a small heard.
Now, this was meant to be a picture of the bumpy patch or road. Instead it became a picture showing just what happens on a bumpy road.
The shock of the day? A local saying "I think I found a mine" and placing this in front of you... a second look seems to indicate that it's not fused, but still...I gave my little speech on mine awareness right there and then.
It's amazing how people drift in when someone pulls up a camera. The group doubled in size in less time than it takes to write it.
Just hanging out... just like I was at the time.
Nothing like a tasty breadcrumb...

Day three of the LDP
Yupp, still beautiful.
The colours are simply stunning... at this point I wished I had a high end camera, just for the sake of this sequence.
I have no idea who this fellow is... but he chirped his little heart out for us in the morning.
Pears.. I think.
Heading for Kaya on good roads.
Well, mostly good roads.
The border area is more wrinkly than the area around Yei, so mountains and hills popped up everywhere.
One of the more solid bridges I seen so far, right by Kaya. But then again, most of the goods entering South Sadan passes right here.
The Joint Military Team and some of the people responsible for security, customs and the like.
The JMT and the local administration.
Our bold and brave force protection. Great guys to hang out with too.
I guess they liked the tree enough to leave it be... about 500 meters behind us is the Sudan-Uganda border.
Off course, not all trucks make it very far into Sudan.
This stretch of road is interesting... if you drive on the right side, you're in Sudan. Drive on the left, and you'll be in the Democratic Republic of Congo...
Meeting with the leaders of one of the smaller villages along the road back to our TPB.
A quite impressive convoy.
The village in question - like most other places, they lack water, sanitation, medical facilities and schools.
This is the MM Restaurant in Morobo Town... they serve a pretty good matoke with beef stew and boiled greens on the side. Just four Sudanese pounds for a meal that will stay with you the rest of the day...
Just an example of mud bricks cemented together with more mud. This is the basic construction method of almost all the building in South Sudan.
A broken open kiln with a stack of badly burnt mud bricks. Most places have a kiln of this or another design so you'll never need to worry about having bricks available for those pesky repair jobs.
Food is where you find it.
Just a close up of the inside roof construction of my tukul.
Remember those mud bricks? This is what happens if you drop one from about 1 meter above ground...
The sun was setting as we got ready for the last night on patrol.

Day four of the LDP
Breakfast and coffee... but I actually bothered to find a chair the last day.
Packing up and getting ready to go "home" to the team site.
This is what most of the ground in the area consists of. To me it look like some form of conglomerate.
If  anything happens, these guys will make sure we're safe - and line up for a group photo afterwards.
Simple but important messages can be conveyed with murals - water from boreholes good, water from streams bad.
A favored place for a photo - apperantly all LDPs to Morobo stops here to get their photo taken.
The JMT and the local payam director. It's amazing how happy these people are to talk to us.
Just checking what we can make for lunch...
...a steak sounds good.
Homeward bound!
Getting down from the mountains.
What can I say - I like mountains, and I wanted to see how good my zoom was.
Just taking a "technical break" - aka "find a bush".
Occasionally a bare piece of bedrock sticks out of the plains.
Just over that hill is Yei... and the patrol is over.


  1. Really great series of pictures which give a good idea of what Southern Sudan is like and what your life is like!