To share the feeling of sailing in the Caribbean, read this short story. Was written on Union Island in the Grenadines, two years ago.
We are only half aware how lucky we are. I count my blessings.
I am on holiday, home in Belgium at the moment. We are soon off for our annual holiday, this time to St.Martin in the Caribbean where we are chartering a boat to sail around for almost a month. This week I needed to practice some of the skills I need to skipper a boat..
Unfortunately when we set out for our practice course in Nieuwpoort on the Belgian coast, the weather did not cooperate. Wind, rain, hail, lightning and thunder, we had it all!! Look at the picture, how Lana and Hannah were dressed. You would not say it was summer, right?
The good thing was, for one hour, in the afternoon, the skies opened up, and the beauty of sailing comes out in its best.. I love the Belgian coast. (tried to capture it in this short story)
I was in Brindisi last week, for work. Brindisi is in the southeastern tip of Italy. It was an important natural harbour since way back, even during Roman times. They actually built a Roman highway (the Apia Antica), all the way from Rome to Brindisi. Nowadays, there is a bit of marine trade, several yacht harbours, a station for the Italian Navy and Coastguard, and a gateway for ferries to Montenegro, Albania and Greece.
So when you walk around town, you see a lot of shops where they sell tickets to the Eastbound ferries, or for cruise ships passing by. The 'passing' tourists never stay very long, apart from an overnight in town before or after a ferry trip... It is also much to my surprise so many of the local people speak English. Very contrary to Rome, which is much more of a megapolis.. Weird..
Another picture Enrico sent. The Nile in all its forms of 'giving': People taking a bath, washing clothes, picking up water, and in the background a barge taking people, cars, trucks and cattle across, a symbol of the Nile as a vein of the trade.
Aaron published an amazing set of pictures with the sun setting over the Nile in South Sudan. Now we're on the subject of Aaron, have a look at his blog as a whole. Nice stories. Wonderful pictures grasping the feel for Southern Sudan.
I always thought of South Sudan as very dry. Apparently not so. Bor seems to be green and lush. For six months per year, during the rainy season, it is cut off from the world.
The Nile, the main source of water and fertility in Southern Sudan.
Bor, Main Street, but this time with a herd of cattle passing through. Cattle is the most precious posession for the local people. Stealing a cow is the same as declaring a local war. Cattle is a source of income, but a status symbol. People's wealth is measured by the number of cattle they have. Just look at the top picture. A gem!
This is still the dry season. Look what half an hour or rain does to the road. Can you imagine the rainy season? This would not be a road anymore, but a stream.
The same half an hour of rain.. Look how high the water comes, on the side of the road. Half an hour. In the rainy season, it would rain for hours every day... Just imagine..
Pictures courtesy Enrico Pausilli and Ulrik Pedersen, both stationed in South Sudan
I interviewed Enrico for a post in FITTEST, our technical intervention team, back in 1998. He joined us in Uganda shortly after that. Enrico worked with us on the forefront of humanitarian emergencies ever since then. On the picture above, you see him (on the right) on Bukova Glava, one of the mountains in Kosovo where we installed radio equipment. (The story of Bukova Glava is the next short story to be released.)
Enrico has just recently been reassigned to Bor. Yep. Bor... I did not know where it was neither, but it is in South Sudan. And this is where his story links with the one of Cyprien, I posted before: both are now in South Sudan. Enrico gave me some excellent pictures, I will post in the coming days. From the deep bush in Africa, where the real humanitarian work happens.
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|Peter. Flemish, European, aid worker, expeditioner, sailor, traveller, husband, father, friend, nutcase. Not necessarily in that order.|