Monday, July 25, 2005

First Impression

We left nairobi at 8.05 am onboard Delta Connections to Rumbek Via Yei a 3hr flight. The flight was very smooth kudos to the pilot.

We flew over the expansive River Nile and i was left to wonder, why do they call it a river, they should just call is an Ocean! We landed in Yei a small airstrip in the middle on nowhere with no control tower, guides, lobby etc. This is when you see the real effects of war. Next to the airstrip, military equipment was dumped but covered carefully for later disposal.

Yei airtrip was not busy at that time as we spent 15mins only and we were back in the air shortly. The landscape over South Sudan is wonderful. Everything is green and vast. Too many trees and too few a people because of the war which displaced millions of Sudanese for the past 25yrs.

From Yei to Rumbek took us 50mins. Rumbek is East of Yei in a state called Lakes. Rumbek is also the proposed capital of South Sudan. Over Rumbek, first impression is that the town is very small and dusty. The airstrip is made from Murram but it's still being extended by Civicon through World Food Programmer to accommodate bigger planes. At the moment the biggest plane that can land here that i've seen is the Russian Antinov a 40 seater plane.

Once we landed, we were quickly cleared and checked out. In South Sudan you must have a permit to travel here. At the moment, the permit is your visa. Our host Benjamin picked us up after 1 hour from the airport and we were off to our quarters. The country is very hot!

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