One Hundred Twenty-Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifty Feet
Young and old, male and female these 300 former rebels, soldiers, farmers, and mothers hailing from different ribes, had all been vetted for the $5.00/month job of providing peace and security on a daily basis. Their faces radiated an optimism that their tired, worn out clothes did not.
I landed in Yei on February 2, amid rumors that troops were massing into town and conflict was imminent.
Nothing could be further from the truth, NOTHING
We landed to find smiling people, buzzing markets with shops opening daily, motorcycle taxis zooming about, football matches filled Freedom Square, and our team was completing our 80th well funded by UMCOR.
We landed to find smoldering fields, not as a result of conflict, but in preparation for new life. We found a city in the thralls of peace and the hope that always follows peace.
I've been following South Sudan, and Water is Basic's work as a donor and now as a board member and feel pretty knowledgeable. The truth is, much of what we saw on the ground exceeded my expectations, then other days, it felt incredibly bleaker. For every smile from a child in a bustling marketplace, there was another child very ill from a very curable disease.