The Overnight Stay

July 7, 2014

Our team connects at a new level with the local community

July 7, 2014

While South Sudan is a country in the throes of conflict, we’re always amazed by how many stories Jenna and Sandy bring back of the selflessness, kindness and generosity of the people of South Sudan. Trip after trip, we become closer with each village we help, making new connections and being inspired all over again by different individuals in each community.

Wilson is one such individual. When Jenna and Sandy were in South Sudan this spring, they went to one of our livestock watering stations to make some assessments and planned to stay the night to oversee everything. The moment that Wilson, a local schoolteacher, heard that they were planning on camping in the bush in their tents, without a moment’s hesitation they were en route to his village where he insisted they spend the night safely with his family.

“The kids were really curious but eventually came out and started touching us and talking to us,” Jenna told us. “Then each community member came passing through, taking a moment to visit with us and even though no one other than Wilson could really speak English, they each tried to greet us and chat with us through Wilson.”

Jenna and Sandy are usually working in the communities they visit, but because they were there as visitors, the women took them in as one of their own.

“Usually we’re with the men and not allowed to be part of the process of preparing food, but the women made us one of them,” Jenna said. “They kept showing us how to prepare the food, using their special techniques…then laughing when we’d try it and get it wrong!”

It’s these types of stories that really connect us with South Sudan and serve as a daily reminder as to why we work there – through development work and support to help communities continue to grow and expand on their own, incredible people like Wilson and his family can live the healthy, safe and secure lives they should.

“We really got to connect with the family at a whole different level.” — Sandy, Obakki Foundation Team Member