Technology has almost come to a halt since hitting Sudan (to be expected). But nonetheless, here we are writing, having just called our loved ones. It is a breath of fresh air that we’re thankful to be enjoying right now.
We arrived into southern Sudan (YEI) on Saturday. The flight was smooth from Entebbe to Sudan. This was surprising since the weather was spotty. It’s the rainy season here at the moment so rain comes and goes as it pleases. Quite nerve-racking for filmmakers. The bright side (no pun intended) is that the temperatures are nice and cool in the evening and relatively bearable in the day. Blah blah blah weather. Now for the good stuff….
The Nadus crew has been working hard at capturing the lives of the Sudanese. It has been going well since our arrival. We have found that the Sudanese have welcomed us with open arms and are diligently working alongside us. We presented to the Sudanese a script that we formed prior to our travels. They have fulfilled the requested scripted roles by 99%. It has been amazing. An example: one of the characters we dreamed and set out for is a pregnant school teacher. Not only did they find a pregnant school teacher, but they went shopping for clothes that would accentuate her stomach. In other words, they get the purpose of the film. They understand our needs and they’re on it! Very encouraging!
I (Coury) have been able to reconnect with my old friends here. It has been great seeing the warm faces such as Enoch (the older man in several of the Nadus materials). Enoch is well. Currently, Enoch is tending rabbits here in the village. It is a beautiful, innocent responsibility for a godly man who has lived past his given life expectancy. He enjoys showing us the rabbit hut and how to feed them.
The team and I were able to pass out 19 disposable cameras today at the same school I handed out cameras to before. The response was overwhelming. Many hours later in the day we saw a child taking photographs of his friends. It brought a giant smile to our faces. We are eager to see the images of what the children have captured. If they’re anything like the first round of images (2 years ago), we’re sure to be blown away. You can see the previous images here.
The water purification is going very well. We have successfully purchased a large 100 gallon container, a car battery and salt box. We hooked up the purification system with little difficulty. Within an hour, we successfully purified water from the Yei river. This is impressive since we had just tested the water from the Yei river 2 days before. At the end of the 2 day testing period, if the water in the baggy turns black, it’s a sure sign of many diseases presently living in the water. The water was pitch black. People bathe, use the restrooms, wash their clothes, wash their automobiles and swim in this water. It is VERY contaminated. The Yei river water appeared to be a difficult subject to work with. But, through the training that we underwent with Edge Outreach and the material we came with, we effectively began fulfilling a giant need here in Sudan. We did this with much support and excitement from the Sudanese community. In other words, the water purification is coming along great and we’re excited about sending more teams here in the very near future! And yes, I (Coury) will be the first of the team to drink Yei river water. Maybe say a quick prayer for this. 🙂
We leave for Juba tomorrow. We’ll be flying a small plane into the capital of southern Sudan. It is sure to be an interesting trip. There, we will be filming several political figures. One of which will be the widow of the late John Garrang. This will be a very powerful interview since Rebecca is a very powerful figure here in Sudan. We will also be interviewing other extremely important figures, but for security purposes, we’ll wait to disclose their names.
It’s important to note also that we’re actively receiving a lot of support from the government of southern Sudan. So much, in fact, that they send us out with security personnel for our own personal protection. So, not only do we have support from our friends and allies through my previous travels here, but our new allies in the government have caught the vision for the film and are investing in it. Many people understand the need for a film of this kind and are willing to vouch for it. Very encouraging.
We have begun airing the film “Dear Sudan”. As you may or may not know, Nadus Films worked on this project prior to traveling to Sudan. We’re using the Sudanese in the states to encourage the Sudanese in Sudan. It is a 10 minute film packed full with American Sudanese and non-Sudanese encouraging the Sudanese here to rebuild by working together, forgiving one another; to embrace the current comprehensive peace agreement and work hard at living side by side. So far, we’ve been told that it is “excellent”. So much, in fact, that there is plans to air it over the local radio station and show it on the tv station (a lot has changed in Yei in just 2 years). We’ll be showing it for the first time in Freedom Square tomorrow night. Freedom square is a central point for the town of Yei. We could quite easily see 3,000+ people for the viewing. This will certainly be both exciting and scary, but equally just as powerful for both the Sudanese and us.
Wow, looking over everything I just wrote really reminds me of how much we’re being used here. There’s many projects we’re involved with. It appears that half the projects are things that the Sudanese are immediately benefiting from and other half will later benefit from. It’s good to give something back immediately (water+Dear Sudan).
Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers. Please continue. Our days are both long and exciting. We find ourselves desiring long naps in the middle of the day… something we can’t afford. Please continue to pray for our health.
We will do our best to write another update in the near future. Thanks for enduring until the end. Much love. Until next time….. the nadus film crew.