South Sudan is supremely sylvan (and alliteration is awesome). I spent the day dropping off condoms and checking out projects in greater Kajo Keji County and, I'm telling you, if you just took out the thatch/mud huts and added a stone cottage or two, you would think you were in the Cotswolds or Virginia hunt country or something.
On our way to Lire (prettiest spot for a clinic ever) we passed some guys slaughtering a cow on the side of the road. Now, those of you who read the old Thirsty Palmetto (Darfur edition) will remember that I had some unfortunate cow-slaughtering-related incidents in Kassab Camp and so tend to flee at the sight of it. So I kind of encouraged the car that we move on.
Three hours later, after viewing some women making Lulu oil and having LOTS of guys make inappropriate remarks about the khawja girl delivering condoms, we go back through Marajok, the town where the cow met his end. In that space of time, a long set of bamboo stalls had been set up and each one had a different part of the cow for sale. Here, we had two young boys with their baseball caps on backwards and no shirts selling the ribs, here we had two old men with dagger-style knives selling the lining of the intestine and, I think, the reproductive organs, etc etc.
Outside each of the little stalls there was a dude with a piece of paper and a pen and they were basically auctioning off the bits of the cow. I watched my staff strategically place themselves so they could get a bid in on both the ever popular liver chunks and the bits of the neck. After a 15 minute free-for-all where babies tied to the back were whipped around like weapons and a guy with an ax made a very persuasive argument about why he should get some of the tail (I think), there was not a bit of that carcass left and my staff bundled happily back in the car with huge plastic bags full of various and sundry cow pieces.
It was surreal, man.