First of all I apologise for the last post that has appeared on this blog of mine, I have just removed it and it was called "Pettegolezzi". I never posted it and there was a link leading I do not know where, I hope you did not follow it. Hacker? Joke? Don't know, but it was in Italian and this blog is only in English. Sorry about that!!
Anyhow, God is good as they keep repeating here and I do agree.
My last post goes back to June and too many, I mean really to many things happened, other changed for the better other simply not!
First things first:
I'm still in Juba, South Sudan, and precisely today it's been two year.
I remember the excitement of coming to Africa for the very first time in my life: huge, big, dangerous animals - elephants, lions, giraffes, hippopotamus... I only found tiny, scary, annoying ones like flies, mosquitos, scorpions, spiders (these ones huge), snakes... I will complain with the National Geographic very soon!!
I dreamed of big baobab trees and green bananas trees and still I will complain with all the documentaries I have seen about Africa...
I dreamed of learning a local tribal language: everyone speaks a different one...
I was scared of war and poverty and famine and diseases and I found them, but I was not scared as the love those people have given me and are still giving me is so much more! Thank you JUNUBI!
Randomly summing up the last months:
1) July the 5th I went on holiday back to Italy and England - such a wonderful time with brothers and family
2) July the 8th terrible fight erupted in Juba and hundreds of people died - and I was not enjoying my time in Italy thinking of all my people here risking their life
3) The ofm community was disrupted
4) August the 24th I met pope Francis and talked to him in the morning
5) August the 24th I met pope emeritus Benedict XVI and talked to him in the afternoon
6) September the 1st I came back to Juba, I was alone in the house with Pongo - the amazing watch-dog!! Who actually turned one year old on the 8th and we gave him a little meat for lunch!
7) fr. Jesus Aguirre came back some weeks later and we started all again our mission
8) many villages that we served had been abandoned and the road to reach them is dangerous
9) I am still so much enjoying here. I am so much enriched by these people, notwithstanding the difficulties this country offers them they have a huge resilience!
In the picture below you can see Grace, one of our youth group member who is giving an opening speech for the English Choir feast day. It's been simple and nice: we sang, we talked, someone danced, we laughed and we ate and we prayed and we were happy. Need more? Well, if you do then think about your priorities and put them in order!
This was a selfie time during the same feast!
They are so junubi and I am so kawaja!!
During christmas time and New Year's eve we were expecting some fighting or shooting but nothing at all happened, we were all so happy and the situation, at least here in Juba is more or less ok; but we shall not forget all those people who, all over the country, are still suffering a lot. We still need prayers for peace and reconciliation.
Wishing you all the best I hope to be more consistent in updating this blog
May the loving God bless you now and always
Abuna Freddy Loro