Region

Africa

Kakuma Camp

David Morse, for the Pulitzer Center

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.

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.

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?

The Road to Wau

David Morse, for the Pulitzer Center

Koor's reception at his family's compound in Kuajok was intense. His Dad kissed him repeatedly and hugged us all. They had sent a pickup truck to Akon to facilitate our travel north to Kuajok, and later they would facilitate our travel to Wau. Both parents expressed their gratitude upon seeing their son, and to us for having helped bring him "home." Later, a bull was slaughtered and we were feted with the best food I have tasted in Sudan. But nothing can compare with that first emotional encounter.

Koor's message

Jen Marlowe, for the Pulitzer Center

Koor got a message last week.

It was from his father.

Koor had sent someone on a motorbike to go to all the towns and villages where he had heard his parents may be, trying to track them down. They were located in Kwajok, the regional capital of Northern Bahar el Ghazal. They sent a message back to Koor, asking him to come immediately.