Welcome to the “In Search of Water” blog site! Here you will see the chronicled events of the project leading up to the team’s departure from the United States and then daily while the team is in Africa. Feel free to comment on the posts as it is a great encouragement to the team and a great way to share in the experience together.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Posting from my phone

The way I plan to update this blog is through my mobile phone. Blogger has this cool feature that allows me to send an email with a photo attachment and it will immediately post it to this blog. My hope is that I will be able to do this even in Kalalayi. It will depend on the cell signal available but last time I had some connection with my Verizon Blackberry. This time I'm using a Droid phone with Verizon. I won't know if this works until we get there but hopefully I can give real time updates during the project.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What if...?

There are some things you don’t think about unless you are actually planning a trip to a remote and possibly dangerous place like South Sudan. Even if you start to think about it, you want to stop before you freak yourself out, but responsible planning requires that you not only think about it but that you plan for it. We have had to do just that:
  1. What if you get hurt really bad?
  2. What if you die?
  3. What if a team member gets arrested and does not rejoin the team?
Though these are all extremely rare and unlikely, we have to plan for these types of catastrophes. The team has purchased travel and medical insurance. These policies will evacuate a team member to a “real” hospital, fly him or her home and even ship a body back if need be. We will have cash on our travels but the cash will not be on one person in case that one person is apprehended, lost or worse. An evacuation plan and preparing for the worst case scenarios is a very important part of a project like this. Though we don’t want to think about it too long, having a plan brings great peace of mind to those of us heading to South Sudan.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What to Eat?

During the eight days the team of 5 will be in the village of Kalalayi and they will need to eat. The team from 2010 had to hire a cook from Juba and buy a truckload of groceries for the 14 person team as well as feed the cook and half a dozen helpers! That team had an advantage of staying in  a village with many more resources but this time we will be in the much smaller, remote village of Kalalayi. You always take a risk when you eat the local foods, especially when they are prepared by the local people. Our bodies are not used the the bacterias and lack the natural enzymes to digest the food. It is so important that we reduce any possibility of illness while in Africa. As careful as we are, we will still have to eat some local foods from time to time but we will do everything we can to ensure our safety. You pray for your meals in a whole new way when you’re a guest in South Sudan!

For this trip, we will bring our own food in the form of a MRE or Meal Ready Eat. These are the same meals the military uses for its troops when in the field. They have a 10 year shelf life, 2000 calories per day and taste…rather good! Seriously they do! Our team sampled some a week ago so we would know how to prepare them and how to use the water activated chemical food heater bags. Just add water and your food is boiling hot on five minutes. This will ease the resource load on the people in Kalalayi that we are trying to help and will ensure a safer health environment for the team.


Thursday, March 1, 2012