Somehow along the way, I've moved to Juba...the capital of Southern Sudan (Khartoum is still the capital of all of Sudan, it's sort of confusing). This is where our main office is and as I switch projects, it's now more essential that I'm based here instead of Kapoeta. While the majority of my things are still in Kapoeta, I haven't been back in the last 11 days and when I go again, it will mostly be to pick up the rest of my few belongings. That said, of course I'll still be going back to Kapoeta as often as I can, if only just to see TOC and Somehow.
I've been to Juba several times over the last 9 months that I've been in Sudan and usually within a week, I'm craving to go back to Kapoeta. It's been about a week now and yes, I'm already missing the chillness that is Kapoeta. That said, let me tell you a bit about Juba. I live in one of the guest houses and the first night I slept there was a bit scary. There is only one big window high in the wall and the bed was as uncomfortable as one can imagine. In Kapoeta I usually wake up to the 30 variety of bird songs, but in Juba 'Billie Jean' was the song of the morning, blasted from the neighbors radio. As my back was nearly broken from sleeping in the bed, my first request in the office was to get a new mattress ASAP.
I've also had another chance to see the 'night life' of Juba and that too is a bit of a hot mess! I went to a party on Saturday and while there were tons of nice people, there is definitely a superficial air around. I mean you could meet someone on a Friday night and on Saturday have to re-introduce yourself to the same person AND have the do it again the following weekend. Or they won't remember you if you see each other walking in the street. Now of course I'm being general and there are several really nice people floating about, but it still seems that unless you are deemed someone, it's a tough scene. Considering I prefer to have a few friends than to know everyone, this scene doesn't phase me at all.
Speaking of friends, that is one of the best benefits of being in Juba. I have one friend from grad school who after living in India for a few years, found her way to Juba and so we get to hang out a lot. In addition, I also met another girl though more friends from grad school who I get to hang out with a lot when I am here. And in a very random twist of life, I've met a girl who I haven't seen in 10 YEARS also living here in Juba. We met when I was in undergrad in Boston, and I only saw her 2-3 times, and now here we are having Sunday brunch in SUDAN!!!
Oh and another benefit of living in Juba is free Yoga classes 3 times a week!
Anyway...back to the daily grind! Will write more about Juba in the days to come....