Voting!

All is going well here in Sudan. Just tired…long hours, lots of driving. But that’s nothing. I heard that some people in Southern Sudan walked over 20 kms overnight arriving at the polling station at 5 am to vote in this referendum. And once there, the long line-ups sometimes prevent them from voting that day. My tiredness is just a small insignificance when compared to the momentous piece of history in the making here in Sudan.

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January 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

It’s the day before referendum…

It’s the day before the referendum and all through the north
People are stirring, expecting the worst
They’ve packed up their goods, their front door, their beds
And wait for the trucks to bring them to safety
To their families, their tribes, their people.
And the sun shines hot on the red parched earth.

With only 3% or 117,000 voters in the North of the over 3.7 million registered, those of us in the North know that the referendum will not be won or lost by the people voting in this region. What is important is to ensure that voting takes place in a fair and democratic manner. Any separation would require 60% of all votes needed.

The big story for us here is that many people in the North are returning to their traditional lands or homes fearful of consequences as a result of the vote. Kosti is a city of about 200,000 about 4 hours south of Khartoum that is in the crossroads of migration east and west as well as north and south through the river system. The city of Kosti and its neighbour Rabak are the transit and distribution points for the whole country and there is a whole infrastructure devoted to the movement of goods and people. Many Sudanese are passing through this town on their way back home.

Pictures are not allowed to be taken in this country but imagine large open bed trucks piled high to overflowing almost tipping with its load of furniture, bikes, and bed frames and headboards. The ones I’ve seen drive in convoys of 5-10 trucks. An amazing sight. These trucks are not as brightly decorated as those in Pakistan but truckers take pride in their vehicles by washing them daily by the side of the road.

More to follow when possible.

January 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm 1 comment

Heading out….

We’re being deployed today into the field. It’ll be a long day full of travel, reading, briefings and perhaps some courtesy calls. More later.

January 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

Heading to Sudan

Soon I’ll be flying to Sudan with the rest of the European Union team to observe the North/South referendum. I’ll be one of two short-term Canadian observers gathering in Khartoum for our briefing and further deployment in the country.

I’m thrilled that the other Canadian observer is a buddy of mine from the Lebanon elections in 2005 or was it 2007? It’ll be great to get caught up on all our news over the past little while.

We’ll have time…it’s going to be a long, long trip from Canada to Sudan.

December 21, 2010 at 1:18 am 2 comments

The End…For Now!

It’s been a great ride – six months of wonderful adventures and amazing people, sights and sounds in Pakistan and the Maldives. I’ll start up another blog for my next adventure somewhere in the world! But for now, I’m back in Ottawa and back to my life as an international communications consultant. Thanks everyone for reading and for all your wonderful comments. They were so nice to read half way around the world. I leave you with some photos that cap off my trip.

Life and love, Judith

December 4, 2009 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

Blog is coming to an end

There is just less than a day left before I return to Canada and mark the official end of my Pakistan posting. My return back to my life as an international consultant in Ottawa after being away for six months will be fraught with sadness for having left a great posting and amazing people but also happiness to see my Canadian friends and family again.

I’m sure to write one last time and perhaps post some last pictures.

November 28, 2009 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Almost at an end…

I can’t believe that my six month posting is almost at an end. Just four more days here in the Maldives before I head back to Canada permanently. Yikes. I feel very sad. I always feel sad whenever I finish a contract. The intensity drops and then the reality hits. You mean I have to do laundry again? Cook for myself again? Clean again….UGH! Not have any more exciting things to discover every day until the next trip? Surely you jest? Surely life is more than just daily routines? And more than talking about what the kids are up to and what the best investments are for one’s portfolio? Surely there is more to life than that? I’m sure there is.

November 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

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