Two years ago I had the opportunity to go to South Sudan to film a documentary, Lost Generation of Sudan, with my good friend at Operation Broken Silence. A lot happened on that trip and looking back, most of it is a blur. Recently taking a trip to South Sudan again, I told myself that I was going to journal the important events, that way I wouldn't forget any details.
I have decided to share my journal entries with you. This was a very trying experience that tested our physical and emotional limits, and I plan to include as many details as I can.
Let's start at the beginning:
Today is the day, May 22, 2016. It's Sunday morning and I feel like all the anticipation and nerves have accumulated to this point. We're about to fly out of America to the world's newest, and one of the most fragile, countries. I've been through this once before. 2014 to be exact, but things are different now. I've gotten married since then, and when that happened priorities shifted. I can't willie-nillie throw caution to the wind as a young, single, dumb dude without worrying what will happen. All that being said, leaving this time was much more difficult.
Saying goodbye to Bekah, my wife for those who don't know, was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. It was one of those moments where the last hug couldn't have lasted long enough. I know what you're thinking though, "Come on bro, it's only like two weeks apart." Well, you're right. But it isn't the time apart that was the hardest thing, it's where we're going and the extreme possibilities of what could happen while we're there. Having limited communication while we're there doesn't help either. Pretty much the only communication we'll be having is daily checkins with a GPS Pinger that says "We're safe." So yeah, maybe I acted like a pansy, but there were very real tears and it was a very hard moment in my life.
We have an overnight stop in the States and then tomorrow morning we fly out internationally.
Next stop, South Sudan.