Ana taban means “I’m tired” in Arabic. (Funny enough, there are and I know many, many people in South Sudan named Taban. I’m pretty sure that after however many hours of labor, all of my children would be named Taban. Have fun telling each other apart, kids.)
So instead of writing an update about my wacky and changed-about-73-times travel plans to the field for this week, I’m just going to link to a series of interesting websites and news articles that you all should read. Which might help explain why I’m so very, very taban.
In South Sudan, Oil Shut Off is a Matter of National Pride (Chicago Tribune/ LA Times)
South Sudan Slashes Spending After Halting Oil Production
(Read this. Now. Noteable quotes: “Everyone’s paycheck is being maintained” … and then from Riek Machar: “For a period of 30 months we will definitely freeze our activities on development, but we’ll provide basic services: Health; education; water and even some infrastructure projects will go on.”
Oh. Oh I have so, so, SO very much snarky to say on this article. Hell, on this one quote. But… but… taban.
Doctors Stop Working at Juba Teaching Hospital
(“The medics are sitting down after numerous attempts to settle outstanding issues affecting their duties including lack of equipment and two months of unpaid salaries. [… ] Doctors do not have water or electricity at their quarters in the hospital and cannot take proper care of their hygiene.” Riek Machar… you got an answer for this?)
A Page From Khartoum’s Playbook (LA Times blog re: repressing ethnic minorities. Tries to compare Garang to Mandela though, which is off base, IMHO.)
And then finally, you’ve got Kristof’s take, In Sudan, Seeing Echoes of Darfur
And Texas in Africa’s rebuttal, Kristof in Sudan
Both of whom have their points, but I especially want to highlight TIA’s quote (for those to lazy/taban to click into the links): “While I’m not one to defend the murderous Bashir regime, the Sudanese government does have a legitimate concern that aid coming into the region along that route will fall into the hands of the rebels rather than the people it is meant to help. Kristof needs to be more clearly focused on the fact that just because Khartoum is bad does not mean that everything that the rebels and their South Sudanese compatriots do is perfect. “
True story. And with that… ana taban. Off to bed, then back to the field again (for reals this time. Not like the other 27 times this week I’ve told people I’m going).