While Char & Skiff were in Sudan without internet access, Skiff journaled his daily thoughts to share with you about the Mocha Club projects they visited and the people they met. Stay tuned for their next webisode showing video footage from Sudan…
Welcome to Jach, Sudan. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of it until now. I just learned the name a few hours ago. This area is so remote – our pilots had trouble locating the landing strip. Before coming to a stop, several hundred Dinka’s (the name for the local tribe) surrounded our airplane. I’m just glad the greeting was friendly.
Our base camp is located about a half-mile away from the ever-changing border of southern Darfur. Pretty crazy, huh? Luckily the area is quite peaceful these days. Today we will tour the heart of Mocha Club’s work here: well drilling. Five years ago, people in this area walked days to collect water. Now the area is home to over 35 wells, with at least 65 more on the way.
The Sudanese know how to throw a party. We are about an hour outside base camp where people are shouting and cheering thank you—it feels like the Macy Parade on steroids. There are marching bands, choirs, dancing children and plenty of goat meat to celebrate (I prefer beef or chicken, thanks). We get the message though: water changes everything. It brings life.
We’re back on the airplane headed for Jach. We spent the day at New Life Orphanage that Mocha Club supports in southern Sudan. Just a few years ago, kids slept under trees for shelter—hoping to avoid hyena attacks. Now the 450+ orphans get their own bed, three meals a day and an education. It’s the cleanest and best-smelling orphanage I’ve ever been to. Really impressive!
Hanging out at the compound today—interviewing people about Sudan. Before the wells came here, just 2,000 people called the area home. Now approximately 200,000 people live and work here. The difference is astounding to those on our trip who haven’t been here for a while. We are working to figure out the best way to capture this change in our upcoming “webisode.”
As much as I will miss taking care of “business” in a small hut without quality toilet paper, our time in Sudan is almost over. Our plane is supposed to land at the airstrip in a few minutes. The sun is beating down on us—with the temperature hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s been a great week though. The people are truly thankful and truly changed by the support of Mocha Club. We will now head back to Nairobi for a few days. Talk to you soon!
The Mocha Club Experience: Starting November 1, 2009, Seattle Pacific University recent graduates Daniel “Skiff” Skiffington and Charlie “Char” Beck visit all of Mocha Club’s current projects in 7 countries and take Mocha Club supporters and friends on a three-month virtual adventure to experience real life in Africa. Stay tuned for regular updates!