I am spending the weekend in Lokichoggio, Kenya. Loki, as it is called for short, is a stones throw away from the Sudan border. It is MSF's base of operation for southern Sudan; supplies are trucked from Nairobi to Loki and then flown into the field. It is a 'humanitarian town', originally spawned in the 1980's as the operational base for a huge aid effort called Operation Lifeline Sudan. Since the 2005 peace agreement that ended the civil war in Sudan, most humanitarian organizations have relocated to Juba in southern Sudan.
Loki is also the place that sick ex-pats go to recuperate. And that is why I am here, recovering from my never-to-be-identified fever. I am almost completely recovered.
Loki has some of the creature comforts that Lankien lacks. There is a television for instance. I surf back and forth between BBC and CNN, between coverage of the unrest in Kenya and the race between Hillary and Obama.
I have a new unblocked, quad-band, GSM cell phone that works almost anywhere in the world, with the exception of southern Sudan, unfortunately. It does, however, work in Lokichoggio. I talk with my husband, Erik, my mother, my father, my sister, one of my nieces, one of my brothers, my sister-in-laws.
It never ceases to amaze me that I can make a call from this remote town in the northwest corner of Kenya to Brampton, Ontario. My husband, family and friends have been excellent about me coming to southern Sudan. I'm quite sure that my husband and mother would have liked to beg me to stay in Canada, but they didn't, they knew it was important to me.
"I just want to thank-you,
For all of the things you've done, I'm thinking about you,
I just want to send my love.
Feel like I'm falling,
Falling off the face of the earth"
— Neil Young, Prairie Wind