I hope everyone has been having an amazing summer, and, more importantly perhaps, is now fully geared up for the start of the school year. Seriously, I can’t wait to meet all of my fellow classmates soon.
Anyway, I’ve been pursuing my global travels with a fervent passion over the last four weeks -- which explains why I’ve been absent from updating my blog, and I do sincerely apologise to all of you for that -- but, I’m now back in New York and, best of all, I can proudly say that I’ve finished my “From Extreme to Extreme” 2011 challenge.
I will now update my blog with far more frequency, and will aim to perhaps cover one country, possibly even two, within each blog update. My first update will be on the world’s youngest sovereign nation of South Sudan, and it is attached below. My next post will be on Burundi.
So, without further ado, I present to you: The Republic of South Sudan.
Free At Last !!!
Photos, and commentary, taken from, inspired by, and dedicated to, the gossamer administration known as GOSS, the newly‐sovereign -- and world’s youngest --nation of South Sudan, and the newly‐free South Sudanese people.
A full length of version of my photo-essay about South Sudan is available to download here: Download South Sudan July 2011
This poster pretty much sums it up.
Freedom is not free. As many as 2.5 million South Sudanese may have died fighting for their freedom, their nation’s sovereignty and, ultimately, theirs and their nation’s right to independence from Sudan. That’s an even more astonishing 25% to 30% of South Sudan’s current population. Imagine if 69 mn Americans, 14 mn Brits or 4.5 mn Australians had to die just to achieve their country’s freedom, sovereignty and independence.
I’ll toast to that.
I'll celebrate that.
Given the terrible state of South Sudan’s economy, infrastructure and health system ‐‐ devastated by decades of bitter conflict and crippled by a humanitarian situation often regarded as being the world’s worse ‐‐ the country may very well need divine intervention.
That didn’t stop them from being extremely proud to be newly-independent -- and, hence, newly-free, too -- citizens of South Sudan. Flags of their new nation were flying everywhere in South Sudan.
South Sudanese village.
South Sudanese savannah.
South Sudanese Nile.
Another South Sudanese village. Where are all the people? Most of the villages that I passed were completely empty.
Building South Sudan, figuratively and literally, and pretty much from scratch, too. There was a fair amount of construction going on all over the country.
Locals called the capital city “Juba Town.”
The suburbs of Juba Town, however, were nothing to write home about.
Neither was its city centre.
Nor were its skyscrapers ‐‐ this unfinished building had been turned into an urban hangout instead.
Nor were Juba Town’s posh neighbourhoods. Yup, something in the distance belonged to Canada, presumably its embassy.
The River Nile passes through Juba Town though.
Accommodation in Juba Town consisted of converted prefabricated boxes. A single room at this so-called “luxury” hotel was US$120 a night.
You could, of course, stay in a tent for US$60 a night instead. Note for all would‐be‐travelers to South Sudan: Cheap this country isn’t !!!
The UN was everywhere.
Cruising around Juba Town. Note the Arabic signs in the background, which were quite common throughout the capital, and were, of course, a reminder of South Sudan’s former rulers.
Hey, the roads in South Sudan are quite good !!!
Oops, spoke too soon.
Waaaaayyy too soon.
At least these guys were living the good life in Juba Town.
Boom goes the dynamite !!!
Sunset in South Sudan. “Red sky at night, South Sudanese shepherd’s delight.”
And there I was complaining about the size of my studio in Manhattan.
Get off my land !!!
Stares and stripes.
Why, that’s simply not true. We don’t do everything together.
These photos -- and this blog -- are BORING. I’m outta here !!!