“The neck looks fuzzy,” says Leanna, training her binoculars on a large marsh bird in the distance. I am flipping back and forth through The Birds of East Africa trying to find the section on storks and ibises.
“There’s something here called a Wooly-necked Stork?” I offer. We switch roles. Leanna takes the bird book and I look through the binoculars.
Sunday is the closest thing to a day off in Lankien, and Leanna and I are on a bird walk. We are hoping to make it a tradition, an effort to unwind, see the world outside the compound and indulge our mutual interest in birds. Leanna Hutchins is our talented logistician administrator and like myself, this is her first mission with MSF. I have watched Leanna apply her considerable skill to master the tough, steep learning curve presented to every first missioner. Leanna is also the only other Canadian currently in the project and as such, we happily share the bonds of culture and language. I am very lucky to have her here.
“Yes, it’s the Wooly-necked stork!” says Leanna enthusiastically, snapping some photos. She is surrounded by a group of children; they hang off her arm and demand to see the camera. She laughs, shows them the pictures and asks them their names in Nuer. They are thrilled