Off to work we go...in South Sudan
Yesterday (Monday), I honestly thought it was Wednesday. I think I've been a little too distracted with work and my co-workers arrivals and departures to be able to keep accurate track of what day it is. Perhaps I just need a break from writing. Or, maybe it was just a MONDAY experience, straight up.
Whatever the reason was for my lapse I now know that today is Tuesday and that we are technically not even 2/5's into the work week. In honor of all those weekly commuters out there we wanted to show you what the daily commute looks like for aid workers in South Sudan on the tri-weekly UNHAS (United Nations Humanitarian Air Service) Bor-Juba run.
The aircraft pictured is a Cessna Grand Caravan which can seat approximately one dozen passengers. It is an excellent aircraft for short-haul passenger and cargo operations in the region as it is reliable and can easily handle the sometimes less than ideal landing conditions that one can occasionally find at landing zones throughout the region.
The journey between Bor and Juba can last from 4-8hrs when traveling by car depending on the weather and road conditions. With the Caravan it takes one hour give or take a few minutes. When your delay margin can be as long as half a day of work, when traveling by car, it is easy to see how aircraft are the preferred mode of transport. Safety is also a serious concern as highlighted in this recent WFP video
The view from the plane is impressive as one can see the White Nile as it arcs gently through the plains below. One can even pick out Dinka cattle camps along the rivers edge where the animals graze and water:
Happy Monday (er, I mean Tuesday) everyone!
Special thanks to: Mats Persson, Project Coordinator and the entire South Sudan team!