I can’t say I care for you much, Juba. You’re a strange place. Transient. Aid workers fleeting through. By the time I’m back from my first R&R in January, I’ll be considered an old-hand. And yet I’ll know so little. You’re teeming with aid workers who sit in offices all day, leaving their compound only to reach the nearby coordination meeting, or to head to the UN party on a Saturday night and drink the night away. You’re NGO compound neighbouring after aid relief compound, over and over. One huge 4×4 aid vehicle after another, radio masts towering and swaying above.

You’ve a strange population and no, I can’t say I care for it much. I know in my head God loves your bizarre community, if you can call it that, just as much as any other… and because of that so should I…  But I’m glad to be escaping this. To my little home in the bush where things seem a bit more… real. I’m glad Juba is not my calling.

Juba, you’ve a kind of fakeness. A shallowness that tricks the eye. Where’s your heart? I’m trying to find it. I’m wondering where you’ve hidden it.

You’re a new place and you’ve a lot to learn, a lot to develop. May your culture grow strong with an identity that will make your people proud.


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