I don't complain any more about potholes in my home state of California. Not after traveling in Southern Sudan, where paved roads are almost nonexistent, where bridges often have been washed away completely by flash floods, and where Land Rovers must routinely negotiate riverbeds like the one in this photo. (Yes, in case you are wondering: our car crossed this river and made it up the steep bank on the left without toppling over.)
Besides being downright difficult, travel in Sudan is also dangerous. Too many soldiers from the long civil war kept their AK-47s after the peace agreement was signed. No longer employed as soldiers, and lacking other skills, they have resorted to ambushing vehicles to commandeer their contents. One of the 3 Ugandan Sisters with whom Mercy Beyond Borders works in this area was riding in a lorry that was attacked in March; Sr Angela was shot in the leg by the random gunfire and is still undergoing skin grafts at the hospital in Kenya to which she was evacuated.
Women, of course, are most at risk, as they must walk long distances on foot to collect water and firewood every single day. Eventually the country will build roads and bridges and provide safe passage for its people, but until that day, Mercy Beyond Borders is actively seeking ways to ease the dangers that women face. Mercy Beyond Borders has responded to a request from returning refugee women to provide bicycles for women in 10 villages. You can participate by donating to Mercy Beyond Borders, 1885 De La Cruz Blvd #101, Santa Clara, CA 95050, or using the PayPal button on our website: www.mercybeyondborders.org
Thank you! Sr Marilyn, Exec Director Mercy Beyond Borders