Thursday, December 27, 2007
I got my own taste of what a Sudanese triathlon would look like on the day we flew from Yabus to Nairobi.
Load family into vehicle as soon as you hear airplane flying overhead. Drive the 2 miles through 2 rivers to airstrip without getting stuck. Unload family into airplane and load supplies brought by airplane into truck. Return the 2 miles home with truck and supplies; unload. Run the 2 miles back to airplane and hop into plane as it taxis down the airstrip.
Time allotted for Event #1: 40 minutes
Arrive at refueling spot in Pachola, Southern Sudan. Interpret where the fuel is being stored using Arabic, English, and sign language. Run the ¾ mile to house where fuel is stored, avoiding the ostrich who is guarding the compound. Kick or push two 55 Gallon drums filled with fuel, each weighing 375 pounds, back to the airplane and position them under the wings of the airplane. Proceed to pump the fuel into the wings of the aircraft using a hand crank.
Time allotted for Event #2: 25 minutes
Arrive in border town of Lokichoggio, Kenya. Unload plane and locate counter for visa into Kenya. Compete with other passengers coming from all over Sudan to obtain visa form, fill it out, pay for visa, get passport stamped, check baggage, and take children to bathroom (no toilets on small planes). Only upon completion of these tasks will you be given a seat on the airplane flying to Nairobi. Although you have paid, your seat may be given to another so you must complete your tasks quickly.
Time allotted for Event #3: 32 minutes