Sunday, April 10, 2011

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.  No, it's not a new dance craze, it's a description of the uphill struggle to make any kind of substantive progress in Sudan.  Take a look, for example, at this picture of the brand-new primary school in Yirol, where a recent wind storm ripped off the metal roof and the ensuing rains flooded the food storage and school supply rooms, ruining everything.  It's hard not to get discouraged when so much hard effort can be undone overnight by weather, by bandits, or by plans that go awry.   Those who work in Sudan have to be long on patience, sticking to their goals despite frequent setbacks.  

Since most of us live in places where water comes on at the twist of a tap, where electricity is constant, where roads washed out by bad weather get repaired in good time, and where food is merely a short hop to a nearby grocery store, it's hard to grasp the remoteness and challenges of S. Sudan.  Trucking in replacement metal roofing for this school (from Uganda or Kenya) could take another 6 months....Meanwhile, where will the children learn?

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