Thursday, May 22, 2008

Evil spirits, clearly

There is a big SPLA conference going on here, as I mentioned, and it makes for some interesting characters in town.

Yesterday, I was at this conference center (quick aside, erase from your mind right now all images of buildings and power point screens and laser pointers, replace that with a group of thatch, low walled gazebo looking things next to the Nile, add flies) where, apparently, a lot of the guys were hanging out.

We're there, in small groups, having a discussion about expansion of primary health care in a situation where there aren't enough trained clinical staff when I see this really really tall dude in a suit made for a man about 100 lbs heavier and about 5 inches shorter walking up from the river. At first, I just noticed him because of the suit, it was funny looking, I like funny looking people, I stared.

Then I noticed his walking was a wee erratic. THEN I noticed it wasn't just a wee erratic, he was weaving back and forth to the point that it was difficult to tell what direction he was going and because he was so tall and his legs so long, his body was weaving independently - his legs would be weaving due east while his torso would be weaving south-southwest and his head was just lolling in every direction.

He managed, by some miracle, to make it to the bar (of COURSE there was a bar, this is South Sudan, I think the churches may have bars). He was, maybe, five feet away when he yelled quite aggressively and started to put his hand up to signal the bar guy he wanted a (or, more appropriately, another) beer. This sudden movement totally threw off his drunkards equilibrium and he pitched forward, slamming in to the bar top and crumpling in a bad-suit-wearing-drooling heap on the floor. Everyone didn't even blink, they just went about their business, stepping over the nice drunken giant on the floor.

This, by the way, was 11.30 in the morning.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Hi Cory! I was given your blog by Libby Fritsche (who I believe is your aunt...?) who I met at a Parents Council meeting at James Madison University (I just graduated a couple weeks ago). I've been nominated to do HIV/AIDs community outreach work in Sub-saharan Africa for the Peace Corps, and I'd love to get in touch with you about life in Africa whenever you have a chance! My email address is acassiday@gmail.com. Hope to talk with you soon. Your blog is wonderful, and I can't wait to hear more about your experiences!