Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I have my South Sudan visa! Countdown to trip: one month

My trip to South Sudan with the Alaska Sudan Medical Project (ASMP) is fast approaching!  I will be there December 15 - January 11 doing public health work in the village of Old Fangak, South Sudan.  This week I took another step closer to the trip; I applied for and received my visa to travel to South Sudan!

ASMP Program Director Jason Hahn is already in Nairobi and has been coordinating the arrival of building materials for the health clinic and other supplies, many of which were donated by Alaskans (bicycles, medical supplies, medicine, watering cans for the agriculture project, canoes...) 

Boeing offered to transport ASMP humanitarian supplies to Africa in an empty, new 777 it is delivering to Kenya Airways in Nairobi, Kenya. Here is a photo of Jason Hahn receiving the humanitarian cargo with South Sudan Deputy Head of Mission, Mariano Deng Ngor. 






In the village of Old Fangak, where ASMP works, they've also begun to drill a water well, using a drill purchased with ASMP funds. 
Having access to clean water is a struggle in the region, and many villagers use river water for cooking which can lead to disease.  While I'm in Old Fangak, I may work on a water use survey that was started by an Alaskan volunteer last year.  The survey will help determine why people choose river water over well water or why not, how they deal with waterborne disease, and asses the best locations to drill a well for the community.
That's all for now.  More updates soon.