Well it was a loooooooooooong journey, but we finally made it! After making the trek from JMU to Baltimore, we left BWI at 5 pm and arrived in Phoenix at 8:30. After a 5 hour flight and hours of traveling, we were hungry and tired. Not always the best combination, but a large pizza from Pizza Hut and a bunch of soft beds saved the day. This morning we were lucky enough to attend St. Paul’s Sudanese Episcopal church for service. It was quite the cultural experience! Especially compared to the church services I have been to before. I’ve learned very quickly that Sudanese time, and American time are two very different things. In Sudanese time things start hours after the assigned time, so this morning we had to make sure church started at 10 am American time, and not Sudanese time. Church was held entirely in Dinka, which is one of the major languages spoken in South Sudan. It was really cool because the service was mainly sung, and there was not a lot of scripture incorporated. People asked for prayers, and communion was the same as other church services. One interesting cultural thing I noticed was that the women sat on one side of the church and the men sat on another. There were little kids everywhere, and I was loving them so much! They were so cute!!!!! I couldn’t stop laughing at them, even though I probably shouldn’t have been. As the service was winding down, the best part happened. Apparently at services political or community-based debates can break out and we saw that the debates can get pretty heated, pretty quickly. It was like one second we were sitting smiling, and clapping along with the music, and the next it was like an episode of Maury. And we had NO idea what was going on because everything was in Dinka. We heard that the fight was resolved and they hugged it out, but it was really interesting to watch. Its crazy how passionate they are about things.
We spent the rest of the day exploring Phoenix and going shopping at the food Market. Its crazy how cheap avocados are here. I’m going to stock up! ‘Til next time, friends.