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One year

1st of June 2007 I took the plane out of Bogota for joining ICRC, that makes one year….yes it has looked as one year. At the same time two days ago was my 10th month  in Juba. Many things have happened, it hasn’t been a "quiet" year, that’s good, you’re alive, there have been veeery good moments and also veery though and even sad ones, that it is better not to remember but only take lessons from them in order to not experience the same again if possible. In summary, doing well, ready for more years in this "expat" life, the main thing is to take care of yourself physically and mentally and you’ll manage it.

After one year they still say "you look the same", that’s also good. Maybe a little bit thiner or lighter (59kg, running again)

This coming week we’ll try to finish the installations and just wait for my come back from Geneva to start moving things to the new offices (if they finish the painting and cleaning works).

Voila, that’s for now (after a while again without writing, but I’ve published new pictures anyway)

A plus

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Comeback, farewells, new people

Coming back to write, it’s been a while. Well,  April is gone , fortunately, it wasn’t a "Beautiful April" like in Fito Paez’s song. Many things around now in May, my project ongoing, the Technicians are good and we haven’t run in many trouble, still on schedule. Some delays for other causes the resources were deviated to reinforce the houses’ "passive security". Persons that come and go, some that  return, as always then farewell party and picture’s collection, gift preparation. This time the before-last inhabitant of the house where I arrived is going, 15 months mission (shortened from 18), now I feel less accompanied. Most of the "original ones" who where here when I arrived are gone. In june another one is probably going, on the good side time seems to go fast. For my relax the volleyball continues, some time invested in putting together new playlists for the music during the game. I haven’t written but I have published new pictures of nice sunsets and of of life around Juba, these days the traffic is really heavier than before. A new person will come tomorrow also to join the team. Two other technicians also coming from Khartoum (maybe now is a little be more relaxed here than there with the last clashes).

Anyway, to say goodbye to people that were good company is sad, we keep the idea of meeting them again. Also we have to give the best welcoming to the new ones, is not ease to land here, at least for me it was like that.

Where to in the next mission?  Who knows.

May is plenty of anniversaries and celebrations, I remember the lot of persons in Colombia who were born in May, and now some here also.

Ok, everything continues….

To the next one…

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Locked out

Back in Juba from Khartoum since saturday, i has the strange sensation that ihad to continue working on arrival, Khartoum this time was lot of work, no time for swimming or hanging around. We played volleyball again nicely on Saturday and Sunday. Yesrterday we did "video fitness". Then I was locked-out by one of my house-mates, he locked the bullet-proof metallic door inside the house , i couldn’t reach my room. Slept in the  sofa fighting with mosquitoes in spite of the repellent shower I’ve got before and the bed sheet i was covered with.

Work continues, some small worries on the cable installation, at the same time doing "usual buiseness" at the office. Going to Geneva on June (inshallah), then I was also looking for my flight bookings.

Tonight dinner with friends…

I’m late already (no surprise)


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From 25 to 50

Arrived in Khartoum on Monday, 50°C, sunny and dry. Juba was rainy at 25°C or something. Visited the offices, I’ve met with the IT colleagues, there’s another Alfredo (recently arrived from Geneva) among them. So now we are two Alfredos, IT engineers, working for ICRC in Sudan, can create confusion, now people need more details to identify the right one.
Then I’ve had food in "Solitaire", one of nicest "fast food" restos in KRT, good as always, had a good "submarine" and one hour after I was having barbequeue at my boss’ place, I think I ate too much, because of that I couldn’t sleep very well and then at about 3 am, it started to rain with strong wind and sand. It remembered me of the video of one of latest "haboubs" in Khartoum. Because of the storm the electricity went off, and our generator was not providing energy.

Well, the good thing is that the hotel next to this residence has its WiFi network open, as I’m staying at the top floor next to the terrace, I could use it even from the bed. The bad thing is that no-electricity no water-pumping, I hardly had a shower and then to work. It was "census" day in Sudan, almost nobody on the streets, only us at the office for my meeting. Strange day. The day stayed overcasted up to the afternoon, then it cleared and the sun and the heat installed themselves again.

While in KRT it’s nice, my boss and colleagues here are very welcoming, in the afternoon we always can meet and have appetizers and nice food at home. Oherwise is also good to go and try to do shopping (morepossibilities than in Juba) or try to go to the swimming pool or find some place to do sport.

Today just working, Census day is over so the shops must be open tonight. I like KRT, shops open late and close late (around 11 pm or midnight) for the same reason.

These days we ‘ll work a lot here with the "migration" project, I’ve called my colleagues back in Juba, things go well.

These time I’ll try to do pictures in KRT, (i have my photo permit) to publish some.



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Too high?

Another week and another weekend finished. The works are under progress , the technicians are doing well, they are more or less "at home" in Juba also. Besides that a little bit of stress with the security around. Didn’t have time to visit the market  , want to buy another straw mat for the room. Otherwise, sporty WE, I ran on saturday and today ( i did longer distance) and in the afternoon volley. After saturday I decided to re-compose the court’s net ‘cause i t was too low. Also the audio cable for the music broke. Today then I ran, put some pictures around the walls, ate and then started to work on both things,I’ve  cut one finger, nothing serious. With some help I manage to put the net real straight and I think at the correct height. Was funny when the players came (very rare, no girls showed up today), all surprised and kind of disappointed because it was "too high". My only intention was to make it like a real court, everybody was smashing even without jumping before. At the end apparently they realized it’s better. The audio gave me problems, but at the end it sounds.

Yesterday night was "fondue", it’s impressive how being that far from home people manage to have their original products from home and have their original recipes. I have enjoyed more "fondues" and "raclettes" here in the heart of Africa during these 8 months, than when I lived in France for 15.

Anyway, as long as nobody is creating harm, why not try to enjoy and profit from the opportunity to have those small personal satisfactions that make life enjoyable?

next report from Khartoum, inshallah


Tomorrow trip to Khartoum.

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Maybe the title is misleading.

Was missing the updating habit. Next week I’ll try to manage ‘cause going to Khartoum.Yesterday it was 17th april, in fact two years ago I made a move from Civil Aviation to a stock market company ,looking for change of job and environment but "it wasn’t my trick". And one year ago also at the same dateI had one mail interchange with another IT engineer at ICRC, after which I had a personal interview when I decided "yes, I want to do this" , and I focused to move to new ICRC life, where I am now, experiencing the changes I somehow wanted to have. So 17th april it’s not a simple since.

My project here keeps going , Technicians are here working nicely, some minor glitches with tools and supplies but everything "tamman" (ok), gladly surprised by the agility of the construction team in fixing the civil works, yesterday they casted the concrete slab for the tower.

One of the Radio Ops from my team graduated today from his computer course sponsored by Jica. He invited me to the ceremony, and I’m glad I was able to go, he looked happy of his achievement, and all the other participants were also. Every time one of them was  going to th front desk to get their diplomas I could see the smile in their faces, accompanied by this Sudanese way of cheering , by the women, with special sounds like singing from the throat.

I’m putting some pictures on this.

Well there are some other not so nice surprises around in Juba about security, we have to be more careful now.

Have to go now, try to stop working late, these days I need to work late but at the same time some other things to do.

Enjoy…… and try to make it last

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