Good news: I finally got my press pass!
Bad news: It looks like a 4 year old made it, and I’m still afraid to take pictures in Juba.
But with my new found press pass, I managed to sneak a few pictures here and there to show a few of the new updates to Juba. It’s actually fantastic how much effort is getting put into the city, but whether or not it comes to fruition in the next 4 days is yet to be seen.
This is possibly my favorite improvement. For about a week they were tearing up the medians and digging holes, then all the sudden one night these lampposts all went up on the main road in between the airport and the ministries/John Garang memorial (where the big celebration will be). The only thing is that… well… there’s no lights on them. There have been similar posts on another road in town since I got here. They still have no lights on them either.
Tick tock, Juba, tick tock.
(Also, if you look closely, on the left side of the picture you can see the 3 foot wicker baskets protecting all the trees on the side of the road. Totally look like garbage cans.)
The city also announced on Monday that starting immediately, no boda boda taxis would be allowed in the city. People coming in to work were dropped off outside the city limits and had to call friends and coworkers with cars to pick them up, or walk. Somehow a few manage to be operating in the city, but not really sure how they’re getting around the rules. My guess is a lot of bribes.
There’s a bunch of billboards like these around the city, mostly on the main roads. My favorite ones are actually on sheets wrapped around some of the trees and say “Proud to Celebrate South Sudan Independent Day.” I forget which organization put those up, but they’re great.
For all those who were worried, I did manage to celebrate American independence the past weekend as well. I even ate a chili dog (of sorts) and brownies, and drank Heineken (about the closest you can get to American beer here). And in the morning I watched the sunrise over the Nile.