Tuesday, August 5, 1980

Interesting Trip to Riwoto

Riwoto, Sudan

Today has been quite an interesting day.  We left for Riwoto this morning.  (It is in the vicinity of Kapoeta.)  Shortly after we got on the main road, the fuel tank fell out from under the seat of Samuel's Land Rover.  He and Kristine were in one Land Rover.  Lanny, Brian and I were in the other one.  We were traveling behind them.  It was a very odd sight to come up on Samuel sitting in the middle of the road holding a dented up fuel tank to keep it from falling over.

Fortunately, the Land Rover had a second fuel tank at the back end.  After a bit of trouble, we were able to transfer the fuel from one tank to the other.  A few minutes later we had to tie off the fuel line that led to the lost tank as it was leaking.  Of course we had to re-prime the engine fuel system.  Later, the manifold started to come apart where I welded it yesterday.  We wired it back up to give it more strength.  Later, we had to park for a while to let a river go down so we could cross.

Later, we met an army truck.  The soldiers needed a tire patch, so we gave one to them.  They gave us some goat meat roasted over an open fire.  It was quite good tasting, but a little tough.  We finally arrived here (after getting stuck only once) at about 5:30 p.m.  This was about eleven hours after our journey began.  The distance we travelled was about 100 miles.  

This place is in the middle of a thorn tree covered plain in Taposa country.  Most Taposa men go stark naked.  The appropriate greeting here is "Mata" said repeatedly while shaking hands.  More tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 1980

Preparing for Trip to Kapoeta

Lohutok, Sudan

We had planned to go to Kapoeta today but we had too much to do first.  Samuel and I had to fix the exhaust manifold on the green Land Rover.  It was hard to get off and hard to weld as it was some sort of a cast material.  We asked Elijah to have someone plant some sweet potatoes to start a garden for the mission station.  This afternoon I wrote a letter.  I also finished the foot board of the bunk bed for the Arensen girls.  We plan to leave for Kapoeta in the morning.

Sunday, August 3, 1980

Out of the Silent Planet

Lohutok, Sudan
Today, I read Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis.  It was a very good book dealing partly with man's presupposition that there is no God, leading to disbelief.  It was a different theme than most science fiction.

I slept quite a while this afternoon.  My stomach feels a bit troubled but not too bad.

We ate at Samuel and Kristine's tonight.  Kristine cooked some meat that had been left in the freezer by another missionary.  The package was marked with an "E" which we concluded might have meant it was elephant meat.  It was tender and tasty.

Saturday, August 2, 1980

Land Rover Repair

Lohutok, Sudan

I spent most of the morning fixing the switch on the Land Rover.  We were unable to start it with the key.  We had to hot wire it all the time.  The interlock system was messed up.  I took off the switch.  This was a difficult job.  I had to drill and chisel a couple of headless bolts.  I removed the steering and fuel shut-off interlocks and put the switch back on.

In the afternoon I read one of my Michigan State Rural Employment Papers.  I also napped a bit.  I cut out all the pieces for the footboard of the Arensen girls bunk bed.  The metal pieces are ready for welding and then drilling.

This evening I will read one or two more of the Michigan State papers.

Friday, August 1, 1980

Visit to Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) at Hiliu

Hiliu & Torit, Sudan

This morning we left Imatong Bible College.  We stopped at Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) headquarters in Hiliu.  The agriculturalist was not in.  Brian and I gook a self guided tour around Hiliu, looking at agricultural and intermediate technology projects.  A man at NCA's shop explained to us how to remove the lock mechanism on the Land Rover's ignition system.  I wonder if that will be my job?

We had lunch at the home of Dr. Hedda (spelling?), the medical coordinator for NCA.  After we ate with him, he went to Torit with to give us chairs for the Imehijek dispensary.  The chairs were at the cooperative's office.  The coordinator of the cooperatives from NCA was there, so Lanny asked him about getting grain.  We were able to get three bags with the money Lanny and had between ourselves. (The NCA cooperative director said that one bag weighs 90 kilograms.)  The cost was about 22 Sudanese pounds per bag.  I am glad we were able to get the dura (grain sorghum) at such a low price for the people in Lohutok.  The coordinator talked with us a bit about their problems.  One problem is that people getting dura for their areas are having to deal in thousands of pounds of cash, something they are not used to doing.  There is the problem that the dura could be stolen before delivery or the cash could be stolen while the person responsible was carrying it to Torit.  One group did not have cash to buy dura, but could trade bulls for it.  NCA wanted bulls for training as draft animals, so they agreed to the trade.  When asked if they wanted a police escort to Torit, the people said "No, we can do a better job ourselves."  They supplied their own armed guards with automatic rifles for the walk to Torit.

Note:  See photographs of NCA projects at entry dated 16 July 1980

At Hiliu, I read in Sudanow that the government took the Taposa's cattle, hoping to use that as leverage to get the Taposa to turn in their automatic rifles.  The Taposa have apparently been trading gold found over in the Kapoeta District for the rifles.  The Taposa say the army men sold their cattle to nearby tribes, so now they are making raids to get back their cattle.  The Lotuho were mentioned as major recipients of these cattle.  The article said that the Lotuho and other tribes are arming themselves.  I have heard that in one instance some Turkana and/or Taposa took on the army and killed four soldiers including a major.  Another time the army had a Taposa camp surrounded to get their guns when the Taposa opened fire on them.