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Pulitzer Center

Reports from the field - an exclusive channel of Pulitzer Center reporting

Kakuma Camp

   Our charter flight out of Juba was delayed by a day, as it could not take off from Malekal owing to muddy airstrip. (Appropriately, by temporary e-mail address is rainysuday@yahoo.com) We did make it out Sunday morning, though, in time to settle in at the International Rescue Committee guest quarters where we were delighted to find actual beds, privacy (one to a room) and flush toilets - our first experience with these luxuries in the month we've been traveling.

   Kakuma is a warren of mud huts topped with corrugated metal.

Hotel Dorantes Bogota 13-15 June 07

"The students are throwing rocks at the police," the taxi driver said on the way in from the airport. "It's dangerous, the government has called out the army." I felt like my luck was holding and slammed the video camera together but by the time we made it through the traffic, the students had already swept through the neighborhood. They left in their wake revolutionary slogans on every public building for several square miles. One read, "URIBE 100% PARACO" and accuses the president of being a member of a paramilitary organization, a death squad leader.

What it is like "on the ground"

David Morse, for the Pulitzer Center

We did get to speak to Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan and, under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Vice President of the Government of National Unity. He, like Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the SPLM, was optimistic about the transformation of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement from a liberation movement to a political party and its ability to bring home a victory in the scheduled 2008 elections.

Optimism and reality

Jen Marlowe, for the Pulitzer Center

"Without optimism, I have no right to call myself a freedom fighter," Pagan Amum, the Secretary General of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement told us. "This optimism is not calculated, it's organic. Optimism, coupled with action, is what makes a revolutionary."

We were sitting with Pagan Amum, awaiting a quick and impromptu audience with Salva Kiir, the President of South Sudan. We had been scheduled to have an interview with Pagan the previous morning, but it had been cancelled.

What it is like "on the ground"

   We did get to speak to Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan and, under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Vice President of the Government of National Unity. He, like Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the SPLM, was optimistic about the transformation of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement from a liberation movement to a political party and its ability to bring home a victory in the scheduled 2008 elections.

   Meeting with President Kiir and  Pagan Amum all happened in the last hour of our officials time in Juba. It was intense, and I'm sure we'll both write more about it. But for now, in response to a request form my sister, a few words about how we get by "on the ground."

Optimism and reality

"Without optimism, I have no right to call myself a freedom fighter," Pagan Amum, the Secretary General of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement told us.  "This optimism is not calculated, it's organic.  Optimism, coupled with action, is what makes a revolutionary."

Video Journal: Days 4-8

Since I am online and the comp seems to be dry, will fill you in on the current state of affairs. Its our fourth day out here, and the first where I could sit on deck with my little computer and upload video and get in touch with the outside world. We just escaped from a violent storm the pulled into Cape Town the night of the day we left. It was brutal out here, with waves bearing down on us from the very first night.

Quick questions, difficult answers

David Morse, for the Pulitzer Center

Even if you've been following our blog, the answers to the following three questions may possibly surprise you.

What is the infant mortality rate in South Sudan?

Do the "roads" like the one to Wau that we bemoan offer South Sudan salvation or ruin?

What is the color of Wau?

Quick questions, difficult answers

Even if you've been following our blog, the answers to the following three questions may possibly surprise you.

What is the infant mortality rate in South Sudan?

Do the "roads" like the one to Wau that we bemoan offer South Sudan salvation or ruin?

What is the color of Wau?