It was an epic week. A nation born. The people had a palpable joy – flags fluttering from tree tops, mountains, pickups and people, celebratory honking, singing, fireworks and gunfire. It was a beautiful.
And yet, everywhere was the evidence that South Sudan isn’t truly a nation. It’s landlocked with barely a paved road. Less than 5% graduate from primary school. Tribalism rules, many do not speak a common language. The central government is weak.
There was an air of violence. It’s hard to articulate. You just felt it. I’d look at a guy and he’d look back without expression, stone cold. And then you wonder, where does that go?
In South Sudan, you see how far we’ve come. You see what it means to be a nation. And how very important that struggle is, to do the necessary maintenance, to remain one, indivisible.
Here’s photos of South Sudan’s Independence, of Nimule and the first national soccer game in Juba. An incredible experience, from being threatened by bandits, to the nonexistent infrastructure contrasted to the mass joy of the people.