We had a very exciting opportunity and breakthrough this last week. There was an engineer in town working on a contract to repair one of the main roads that runs to Uganda. He had a bulldozer to do this job, a machine that can do wonders on these roads and is a rare and prized possession around here.
To give you a little context, South Sudan is a territory about the size of France, and it only has 50 miles of paved roads. Now, let me paint you a picture of the kind of roads we do have. In Yei, nothing is paved. Only mud and packed dirt where we’re lucky. For this reason, rain, heat, and heavy vehicles badly damage the roads, creating deep potholes, crevices, and rifts that lend to difficult, exhausting driving and a constant need for vehicular repairs…and the occasional jam in the mud. The road leading up to our compound is one of the worst. It takes 15-20 minutes to travel the 2-mile stretch.
So this engineer was only going to be in the area for a few days. We had to act fast if we had any hope of repairing the road. It was going to cost a large sum of money to rent the equipment, so we put the word out requesting funding for this project. Within 1 day, we had all the money we needed, and more! I was overwhelmed by the generosity and speedy response of the people out there who know us and support us – you guys!
We worked on the road with the bulldozer last week, getting as much done as we could in the few hours we had use of it. The worst sections were attended to, and though the repairs are not yet complete, it is already so much easier to travel. These next few days will be spent repairing some of the less severe sections by hoe and pick axe and bringing in a few truckloads of maram (a hard, rock-like substance) and stones to compact down over the newly-repaired areas.
Thank you all. You have made our lives so much easier!