Sunday, September 27, 2009

Welcome Home

"Welcome Home!" was one of my favorite greetings this morning at the Yei airfield. A small population of residents, volunteers, and aid workers gathered around the multitude of land cruisers parked at the end of the dirt airstrip. Brief exchanges were made between old and new friends to swap current phone numbers, comment about the progress in Yei, and coordinate visits in the coming days.

Trees have been cut down along the Yei main road. Planted in the 1800's, the stumps are lying along the roadside. They will likely become firewood and charcoal for cooking. With the removal of the trees, the red dirt road has doubled in width. This allows for greater safety of pedestrians and cyclist sharing the road with the growing number of vehicles driving in and out of Yei town.

I arrived in town to find some of our NESEI students diligently sewing to increase the number of comfort kits in stock. The suitcases carried earlier this year by the South Carolina team have been transformed into inventory containers. Handmade sanitary pads fill them up.

My colleagues, Diane and Colin, gave me a tour of our current residence. We have graduated from the tents of 2008 and the mud huts of early 2009 to an honest-to-goodness real brick house. We have electricity in the evening and running water, most days. The new place definitely gets a "thumbs up!"

I'm willing to confess that I napped most of the afternoon. The sun, travel, and time zone changes contributed to some "horizontalization."

Unpacking has been completed and I'm happy to say that all the supplies arrived safely! Even the glass slides to be used along with the new microscope for science class successfully survived the 5 airplanes it took to get here.

From Yei Town,

P.S. Stay tuned for lots of pictures in the next post.

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