Cuma, Şubat 13, 2009

Travel Notes from South Sudan-1

South Sudan Travel Notes
January 2009
Written by Serhat ORAKÇI

In the morning people greet each other saying ‘Woro’ that means Good morning. The sun rises smoothly inside Jur River and leaves reddish light on the surface of water. It flows gently. The day starts in the small town. People pour out of the way. The bridge over the river meets with motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians from different direction.

The town Wau is a home for three major ethnic tribes settled in Western Bahr El-Gazal State of Sudan. The tribes are Dinka, Luo and Fertit. Ordinary Dinka people are usually thin and tall. They walk with long sticks. Although they speak their tribal language besides Arabic and English, most of them do not know Arabic and English well.

Wau has very productive land for agriculture. However, activities on the soil are very poor. The area has six months rainy season from April to October. Rest of the year is hot and dry. While avarage rate for rainfall is 50m³ in the Northern Sudan, this rate increases to 1.500m³ in the South Sudan.

Lunch time people greet one another saying ‘Lotto’. Despite the temperature increases up, city market is quite crowded. Traders wait for customer and display their best product. 4x4 jeeps belonged to UN pass inside the market leaving a huge dust cluster behind. People move in the dust like ghosts. Since the petrol is five times more expensive compared to capial Khartoum, Wau settlers use bicycle and motorcycle for transportation. Most of the commodities in the market come from outside world. There is almost no production in the town. Therefore, everything is more expensive than expected except tropical mango.

The town has a big amount of mango source which grew spontaneously all over the town. Nobody even dare to sell or to collect them. During the harvest season, amount of mango is unimaginable. Because transportation facilities are rare from Wau to Khartoum, all mangos get rotten on trees. Trucks go to Khartoum not less than in a week. Air transportation is so expensive nearly reach to international rates.Return flight ticket from Wau to Khartoum costs approximately 500 USD. Usually small aircrafts carry the passengers. Although there is daily flights according to schedule, there is always possibility of posponement or cancellation.

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