Reporting trips are intense: you throw yourself into unfamiliar surroundings, working long days, flat-out to make the most of the precious time you have in a place. You can be so absorbed in our job that you can forget to take a breather, to give yourself time to recharge and to absorb the amazing place you’re so lucky to be able to work in.
So a boat trip on the White Nile river, on the Sunday in the middle of our 12-day stay in Juba, was not only a fun afternoon out, but a necessary chance to relax after a hectic week. Gliding through the smooth water surrounded by lush greenery, our main engine-less boat pushed along by a rusty barge, it was hard to believe we were in the middle of a capital city. We passed small villages and the remains of planes that had crashed during South Sudan’s war for independence from Sudan. Fuelled on plenty of snacks, we played at Titanic and took lots of selfies.
South Sudan, understandably, doesn’t have a tourism industry. But when a lasting peace finally does come to this beautiful country, I can think of at least one day trip I’ll be recommending to visitors.
Rachel Savage, South Sudan Reporting Fellow 2018