How to begin a realistic letter from this war-weary, brutally savaged and corrupt-ridden country. But I will not dwell on the thousands of atrocities, and reports, including that of George Clooney. Sadly these reports are true for many countless thousands; especially as more than one million people have fled South Sudan. Here in Mapuordit where I minister we have an advantages of living in isolation. We are spared the home invasions, raids etc. We all know each other and although there are different ethnic groups we still maintain peace, except for a few cattle raids, and an occasional ethnic skirmishes.
Our two schools have reopened for Term 3, both maintaining their enrolments. The Primary school has over 1,000 students, and the Secondary just above 300. At the commencement of Term 3 we still await our Kenyan teachers but the National teachers have made a marvellous beginning to the term, combining classes and providing quality coaching.
The hospital also is fully operational with malaria, especially among the children topping the list of ailments. Sadly HIV/ Aids is prevalent among our people resulting in many deaths. Yesterday we buried one such patient and today we buried a small boy 4 years old who died from malaria. In fact he lived rather close to the hospital, but the people become so used to malaria they forget its devastating consequences.
Our agriculture gardens at present are producing well, with the highest demand being for okra, maize, and tomatoes. Thankfully these crops produced abundantly. But our wet season is short, and then comes the hungry months. There are no supermarkets here! Next time I am in Nairobi I plan to purchase 50 metres of plastic hose, and 100 metres of fine strong rope to suspend the submersible pump..
Blessings to all and again thank you for your great generosity which seems never to waver. Ever gratefully yours in faith, Sr. Rita Grunke
OLSH Photos: Some of the Hospital Staff Sr Rita with a young South Sudanese.