Posted by: whatallisonsees | November 18, 2009

NEW WEBSITE!!!

Check out the New Site!

With some significant help from my brother, Taylor, I have purchased my own URL & host for my blog. Please check it out at…

www.brandingallison.com

Posted by: whatallisonsees | November 12, 2009

A Real Day in the Life

It was my 3rd day in Malakal, Sudan on Monday and I think I truly experienced a day in the life.

Woke up and had some eggs and freshly baked bread from a Dukan across the street. Then I went with my sister in law and another girl, Stephanie, that lives in the same compound as us to visit some women from Darfur. It was very interesting to be in their home and spend time learning who they were. We had to wear sleeves that covered our elbows and scarfs that covered our hair.  My 2 yr old niece came, too, and played really well with the little boy that was there with the women. It is special thing to see a little white baby girl (culturally ranked above even grown Sudanese men) serving a little Sudanese boy coffee and sharing food and toys with him. It was one of those days that will be impossible to forget.

Unfortunately this was the day I was super sick. At one point I was just walking hunched over because of such bad stomach pain. I was nervous it was Giardia, but it passed in a day (thank goodness). Note to self, if you are feeling ill, do not walk across town, stay put and don’t move.

This is on the street right outside the compound where I am staying. You can see the army in the back.

This is on the street right outside the compound where I am staying. You can see the army in the back. In Sudan there are no street names. People just say "on the road going to the airport" or "on the road back from the SUK (market)"

This is on the same street.

This is on the same street. This boy watched everything I was doing. I think he was on his way to school.
Still on the same street.

Still on the same street. Super cute children on their way to the school behind our compound. I was a dukan (little corner market) where sometimes the children come to buy their lunch.

Avery and Allison at the Dukan

Avery and Allison at the Dukan

A beautiful women at the Dukan

A beautiful women at the Dukan. I was a fan of her bright necklace!

Same street again.

Same street again. These donkey carts are all over Malakal. Used at F350s in the states.

Women are incredibly talented with carrying stuff on their heads.

Women are incredibly talented with carrying stuff on their heads. The water jugs are the most amazing to watch.

My adorable niece!

My adorable niece!

Allison and I on our way to visit some Muslim women from Darfur.

Allison and I on our way to visit some Muslim women from Darfur. Elbows, Ankles, and Hair must all be covered.

This is Regina.

This is Regina. She is the lady that helps Allison with laundry and cleaning around the house.

Sweet boy from Darfur.

Avery and the boy enjoyed playing with my sunglasses.

Avery and the boy enjoyed playing with my sunglasses. No one really uses those here.

Love this shot, doesn't it look like Avery is breakdancing!?

Love this shot, doesn't it look like Avery is breakdancing!?

Allison, Avery and Stephanie with the Darfur women.

Allison, Avery and Stephanie with the Darfur women.

The area of Malakal where the women live.

The area of Malakal where the women live. Behind one of the gates, is a group of homes entire families share. And if one family moves away, some other random relative will move in. Everything is group owned.

These group of girls followed Allison and Me to the market. SO sweet.

These group of girls followed Allison and Me to the market. SO sweet. I think Avery was the point of interest. Most of the time they think she is a doll since they haven't ever seen a little white baby. Actually, Avery is the only white child in all of Malakal.

A beautiful (guhmeela) Sudanese girl.

A beautiful (guhmeela) Sudanese girl.

Posted by: whatallisonsees | November 8, 2009

Part one: Suggestions. Part Two: Some news of Malakal.

Howdy my friends. I have a quick question for you – I have been doing this blog for a while now and would like your suggestions on how to improve it or encouragement to keep on doing something you like. Comment here or email me at allikay@gmail.com

Thanks!

Today was great in Malakal. I met a ton more people, went to an Arabic church, into town for food, hung out with the family and just enjoyed the day.  The church was great, tons of singing – videos to come when I have a better internet connection.  The whole church would sing, then there were opportunities for groups of people representing each of the tribes to come forward and sing… which meant all the white people got a turn.  So the six of us, my brother, sister in law, Avery, and 2 other missionaries on the property headed to front and did our best rendition of O Come Let Us Adore Him.  It was a hit, at least I think it was.  Though – following the AMAZING music from the tribes, we might have looked quite silly.

After church everyone files out and shakes every person’s hand. When you get to the end of the line, you join it and start shaking everyone else’s hand. I like that.  Personally greeting everyone, even the teeniest kids. It was fun.

Here are some pictures from the day. Soon I hope to have some of the “Suk,” the local market in the city.

 

My new friends on Loki. Lea was the one that took care of me there before I headed to Sudan.

My new friends on Loki. Lea was the one that took care of me there before I headed to Sudan.

My first experience sleeping in a mosquito net.

My first experience sleeping in a mosquito net.

At the Loki police station

My favorite picture yet. At the Loki police station

I wanted to climb these mountains!!!

I wanted to climb these mountains!!!

Avery loves her bottles of water!

Avery loves her bottles of water!

The face killed me!

The face killed me!

The church choir.

The church choir.

A super pic by Allison, my sister in law. Taylor enhanced it.

A super pic by Allison, my sister in law. Taylor enhanced it. It was amazing to watch this little boy, probably no older than 2 being completely content for 2 hours during the service. And, he was sitting directly in the sun shortly after this picture and was dripped in sweat. This people are far different from any I have known before.

Some of the kids from church.

Some of the kids from church.

Allison and me in our formal Laos for church.

Allison and me in our formal Laos for church. The women are very specific about these laos. Apparently mine was tied incorrectly so a super kind woman came and untied and fixed it for me. She was so gracious about it. Looks like something you just throw on so you don't have to care about what you are wearing, but it is quite the opposite. The shirt underneath MUST match and the skirt as well.

 

 

Posted by: whatallisonsees | November 7, 2009

Finally arrived, 4 months in the making

I made it to Sudan!!  it took me 5 months it seems, but I finally got here!  I know I have only been traveling since Monday, but in some way, the last 4 months on the road have been awesome, totally, but also a way to kill time until I got to come here to see my family.

I left Friday at noon and headed to Loki in Kenya for an overnight stay. The lady that runs the guest house there, forgot to get me, so after an hour of being a little nervous and waiting at the airport, I asked someone for a public phone to call, but my number didn’t work. Luckily, grace from God completely, he recognized the woman’s husband’s name and called him over (he worked at the airport). So he gave me a ride (phew!)

 

turkana woman

Turkana woman (not my image)

While driving to the compound I observed the indigenous people of the area, the Turkana tribe.  Very interesting people – the women are super buff and do all of the work. They care for the children, do all the heavy lifting and money making and prepare all food, yet they are always last to eat. They wear thick brightly beaded necklaces, and beautiful long scarfs.  The men wear short skirts, from the same looking scarf and just hang around town.  I bet these women would be killer climbers, really athletic, thin and tall.  I saw some potentially great cliff there, maybe one day I will get to check it out. (pictures to follow)

 

I had a wonderful visit, played some volleyball with the family from the guest house, ate a beautiful hotel that used to be full vacancy all of the time, but when all the NGO’s moved back to Sudan when it was allowed and safe again, it left places like this hotel empty almost over night. After a super buffet dinner, we headed back to the guest house for some sleep to prepare for the next day.

My first experience with mosquito net: a good one, I’d say. No bites!  Woke early and by 6:15 headed out to the Loki airport to fly to Juba, connected there on a different flight to Rumbeck, and then on to Malakal and finally arrived about 1:00.  It was SO good to see my brother, super fit and really happy. We grabbed some sandwiches and I shared my observation of how super tall and long limbed the Sudanese people were, and he kind of emphatically (not really sure what that word means, but seems appropriate there) told me, “just like you.”  What? Really? I am tall, and thin-ish, but they seriously have the longest bones ever. Someone should google it and let me know.

Moving on, we grabbed some sandwiches and finally headed back to the SIM compound. We we arrived, much to my surprise, Avery and Allison were waiting on the step and Avery didn’t stop saying my name for 5 minutes!  I have been storing up so much love for her over the last year, that it just poured out! It was so great to see her in real life. She looks just like my sister and is the happiest baby! I can’t wait to continue getting to know her. She warmed up in about 5 minutes and the rest of the say she was keen to play with me anytime. After playing at the house, Taylor, Allison, Avery and I headed to town for dinner food. The market was a sight. So much going on – so much business. Donkey carts, chickens, produce, everywhere!

Fabulous dinner made by Taylor and another guy at the compound, Andrew.  A Darfur guy joined us for dinner, Mohammed, and I wished so badly I knew more Arabic than just “peace be with you” and “how are you.” Oh well, a gal can only do so much.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow. I am so thankful that I going to be able to spend so much time with my family over the next month.

Cheers, y’all – may God be with you today.

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