This is forwared article from Peter Khor Malual, please enjoy reading it. Thanks!
Homecoming from the both shores of Atlantic
When I went back home in Late March this year, it was a home return for the first time since leaving South Sudan in February 1993 for Ethiopia. However, coming back to United States is also homecoming.
So far so good, my trip began in Omaha, Nebraska and stopped in Lou Nuer Area. I arrived in Juba on 03/10/2009 until 04/14/2009. I spent a full week in Bor town and headed to Lou Land on 04/21/2009 along with the Peace team that was going to Ayod led by John Jock Chol, the Advisor for Peace in Jonglei state. One unforgettable movement was that I was traveling with Gatluke Chuol from Canada who met me in Ayod when he learned that I was traveling with the team. On our way from Bor, I was riding with Goi Gatluak Reath, who is the Pact Director for Water in Uppernile Region as whole. My childhood friend Paul Opio Both whom I met in Bor for the first time in more than eighteen years connected me with his colleague because he is also a Pact Director for Peace in Uppernile. It was also a great time to reunite with Opiew who departed Itang as a victim of deception that led many minor students taken to Equatoria via Pinyudo and Dimma in early 1991 hoping that they were going to get better school opportunity as it was the case to those taken to Cuba in 1987 but it was totally different. In deed, I appreciate Goi’s generosity for making my trip easier by allowing me in his car. On Wednesday April 22, 2009, Luke and I left the peace team in Ayod and headed to Lou land together until they dropped me off in Walgak, Akobo West. Then Luke and other guys returned to Waat and drove north all the way to Langken. Three days later I traveled to Langken and met Gatluke and Khorhok Gal there again. We were in one compound for three days at the Nyirol County Commissioner’s residence. The good thing was that I only know Gatluke on the website before meeting him in Jonglei, South Sudan. It was such a good experience for the two or three westerners like us to be at home and evaluate the social and political paranoia that we witnessed in our homeland.
Similarly, when Ruon Bidoang saw me in a Lou Nuer Meeting in Juba, Beijing Hotel, he came to me and I was very excited to meeting him in person rather than reading his articles on the website. Furthermore, I met Ruon again in Waat and he was my beacon of support whenever I am in need of a western living style. In fact the situation has improved a lot but limited to many other things which can make an average westerner comfortable. For example, whenever I go to Waat, the only place that makes me relaxed was the Save the Children UK, a British run organization that Ruon Bidoang works for. This SCUK is responsible for the current development in Uror, Nyirol and Akobo West especially for the building of school and the school supplies. Currently, Save the Children UK has built the schools in Waat, Walgak and Pieri and one is under construction in Langken and it is a great achievement. Since the SCUkK has a power, they always provide me with cold drinking water, Power for charging laptop or camera, and internet with the help of Ruon Bidoang. Moreover, Ruon’s co-workers were also nice to me too and they usually welcome me as one of their own. Sometimes they help me with a ride while commuting between Walgak and Waat. This experience is a major step of how important it is for we the people who live in Diaspora to keep a better relationship between ourselves so that one day we can be a party as the saying goes “birds of the same feathers fly together.” Good job Mr. Ruon Bidoang I appreciate the hospitality that you showed, so keep it up.
Next, it was more and more wonderful to be back in Mun Loal. In deed Khorhok Gal and I were there for the South Water Project for Peace and Development, and we accomplished that by erecting a water tank in Langken that is an urban water system with an electric generator. I have the pictures and they will be displayed soon on the website. Thanks to the American donors from different institutions that trusted us and extended their support for people in need of water. On another hand, thanks to the hard working group, who managed to form the organization, noticeably by their names are, Rev. James Goaner Chol, James Chuol Tang, Tut Puok Nyang, Peter Khor Malual, Khorhok Gal Gar, Samuel Majiok Ruei and Tap Lokchak Dong.
Finally my visit in Lou land is one of the most memorable journeys in my life. Nothing compared to standing at the home where I was born; the place where my life has begun in Juwa (home of Jagueth) North of Yidit. It was like a dream comes true when I climbed the historic tamarind tree of my family and sat at the same place where I used to sit when I was a very little boy in early 1980s before my family and I migrated to Itang, Ethiopia in 1984 and climbed the same Tamarind tree in 1991 in my early teen when we went back to Lou after seven years in Ethiopia. To mark it for sure that I am back in Yidit, my paternal ancestral home, I climbed that tree again as a grown up man for the first time in eighteen years away from home. Thank God I am back peacefully at home, and I was shown and told the most important things in the family. My grandmothers showed me the grave site of my paternal grand father which I never known before. He told me great stories and the legacy of her husband who was the most influential respected clan elder at the time until his death in 1980. It was a very breath taking moment and I was so proud of that. Another experience was my visit to the Nuer Holly Place (Ngundeng’s Pyramid) or Bieh NGundeng. I Stood with pride on the top of Bieh and also touched down on the pyramid to honor the place where our ancestors used to worship. I also have the real pictures of the modern Bieh and the Golden Pipe of Ngundeng (Tony) made by Wäär Jiokgool, which was brought back by the British in 1985 after it was looted during the 1927 war of Guek. I also took the picture of the Jioglualä (the drum), which is the same wood used in the Ngundeng era but the hide always get changed whenever it gets worn out or torn apart.
Finally, I left Walgak/Waat on the 9th of June and headed to Pieri where I spent the night at Pieri Payam Administration residence under Mosses Gatuak kong. Thanks to Rial Lam Wei Thijoak that helped me get there. I also thank Nyuon Thoa, who assisted in finding a car that took me from Pieri to Ayod on my way to Bor. On that night, the town of Pieri was in fear due to the rumors that Morlei were suspected to plan an attack on Lou area. This situation has been the norm for the rest of time I spent in Lou Land, and no doubt that concern for Morlei almost destroyed Lou towns psychologically as the fear of Morlei attack was even felt as far as Langken town, way north of Lou toward Malakal. For instance, there was a major battle which was fought in Yuai in the middle of May against Morlei raiders who stole the cattle and some of the cattle were lost for good although the burglars were defeated. Finally, on the next day, I successfully made it from Pieri to Ayod and I was travelling with the car of Norwegian People’s Association (NPA). On my way, I found the High Way which is extended from Bor-Malakal road (Jonglei Canal) in Ayod eventually reached Pul Chuol deep inside the Uror County. The Ngundeang Highway as mentioned in lyrics by a new rising star Nyajuok will pass through Waat-Walgak-Kaikuiny all the way to Akobo town and it will be linked to the Gambella-Akobo Highway. It was a very great achievement for the constructors because when we came it was in Nyieng plain between Paluony and Pathai and it did not reach Pathai that time. On my return to Bor, I saw a successful construction of the Pathai Bridge and it is now completed. Therefore, it is available with no concern of water which always prevents the cars from reaching Waat even if the dry season comes. Normally, it is hard to cross the Pathai swamp because it preserves water/mud for a long period of time until the month January.
Thank you all,
Peter Khor Malual