- We drove past a gathering on the side of the road and our curiosity was peaked. Hundreds of women in red and white were sitting in lawn chairs in a field. We continued on our way.
2. Don't tip off the party-goers/hosts of your interest in their gathering.
- We casually drove past and followed our original plan to visit the Juba Bridge. It is the only bridge in Juba and traverses the Nile.
- As we drove back past the event we noticed traditional dancing taking place in the field and that a larger crowd had gathered. We pulled over and decided to stand inconspicuously behind the crowd.
- We were quite stealthy and would have succeeded in our mission had two of us not stuck out like two glowing white thumbs. Fortunately they spotted Captain Awesome amongst the group and we were ushered in and given seats up front and center along with a translator to make our experience more enjoyable.
- After watching the celebration that included traditional singing, dancing, and drumming from our primo seats the attention turned to various speakers.
- They explained why they were outside celebrating this day. They were a group of Anglicans who had been fasting for the previous 21 days in remembrance of the 21 year civil war. They fasted and prayed during this time for peace during the presidential elections. The previous day the church leaders met with the current president of Southern Sudan regarding their hopes for a peaceful and fair election process. After the group leaders spoke to the gathered masses at the rally they invited representatives from our group to speak. Pastor Steve Roese, from Irving Bible Church in Texas, thanked them for their hospitality and explained our interest and support for them. He was followed by Dr. Celestin Musekura, ALARM's president and founder, who spoke a few words of encouragement as well.