Monday, 17 October 2011

Some of the best days of my life – Malakal, Southern Sudan, December 2006.

We all have times we remember fondly, whether it be a certain day, a week or whatever.
I often find myself reminiscing about an emergency response I was involved in just before Christmas 2006. Can it really be 5 years ago already?

Without going into too many details, Medair responded to a post-conflict situation in Malakal, Southern Sudan. As project manager, I was convinced by my line manager to take a team in-country. We would miss part, or all, of the Medair Christmas Conference, which was often the highlight of the year and an important team building opportunity. But emergency response is what we do, so with about 2 days preparation, a team of 7 people boarded an MAF plane to Malakal. We were to set up 2 emergency water systems and we had 6 days to do it. It normally takes 2 weeks to set up one system.

But we did it.

6 days later, after the most amazing time of co-ordination, team work and planning, we flew out with two systems fully functioning and the UN lauding the success as the “quickest response we have ever seen in Sudan.” This achievement was possible with help from UNICEF and a number a few other agencies, but the team who pulled it off, they were the driving force behind it. So many memories packed into those 6 days, including throwing Jacqui (the woman who a year later would agree to marry me!) into a muddy-crappy stream. A bit of team discipline is always a good thing.....

So, to Evans Ejem, Francis Woods, Peter Lokuruka, Jacqui McCallum and Joseph Kinoti: God bless you!
Ps: we did make the second day of the Christmas Conference, spirits on a high!

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