Greetings friends of PCC, Paul Bixel here, son of PCC Assistant Director Dave Bixel and member of a team of volunteers heading to Werkok. This will be a three week venture and I hope to write about experience for the edification of the curious and the amusement of bored. I have to admit that I have some foreboding about this trip because it is not my first trip to Werkok South Sudan. I went in January 2005 and got greeted by a heat wave with temperatures topping 100F everyday. With little shade available the experience was enough to a dashing white male from the USA into that which you see at the bottom of this post.
It only took four days too. Yeah, I had a Coke but it was hot, flat and $5. That's my Dad next to me and don't ask me why he looks better than me.
While we accomplished some things on that trip it was more of an experiment in logistics than anything else. In those days communications consisted of "Wiskey Alpha" passing messages on the radio two times a day. Since then a Hospital has been built, there are proper buildings, running water and electricity some of the time and of course a communications system.
Our goals this time are more ambitious in that we will improve infrastructure at the site bringing skills to bear on some rather intractable problems If you check back regularly I will keep you updated on the daily life of our team and the people we encounter. I promise an interesting and sometimes even humorous account of the day to day happenings.
We are packed and loaded to limit with supplies and equipment. Total baggage for our team of 5 people weighs in at just under 1000lbs. Something that will be on my mind as the plane struggles to get aloft. Next stop Zurich and then on to Nairobi and a few nights at the Mayfield Guest house before moving on to South Sudan.