In my opinion, the best part of the trip was speaking with Jany and Koor at the Lost Boys Center. For me, this was by far the most informational part of the trip and I really enjoyed learning their perspectives on the current civil war occurring in South Sudan.
South Sudan became an independent state from Sudan in July of 2011. The war between Sudan and South Sudan is considered Africa’s longest civil war and the secession of South Sudan has created an unforeseen new civil war in South Sudan. This civil war is occurring between the Nuer and the Dinka. Jany had a very interesting opinion on this. He said the people fighting in South Sudan now grew up with military, and all they know is fighting. He thinks that a lot of people probably suffer from PTSD. While we were in the Lost Boys Center we watched a documentary that said something along the lines of “you can take a solider out of war but you can’t take the solider out of a person”. Jany and Koor believe that education is the most important aspect to peace in South Sudan. They acknowledge that since they have been away from Sudan so long, that they don’t have the ability to step in and fix the problem, because no one would listen. We spoke with Jany and Koor for several hours working through the various solutions to the civil war in South Sudan. While none of the ideas of logistically sound, that does not prevent Jany and Koor from wanting to help their country gain peace as an independent state.
The trip was not what I expected. I am disappointed that we were not able to spend more time with the Lost Boys and am struggling with if we truly accomplished the purpose of the trip. I think one of the biggest motivators of advocacy is passion. I’ve always known that I am not a very passionate person, I am very pragmatic, logical, and realistic, which became very evident in Phoenix. Our professor told me that people like that are necessary in advocacy. He said something along the lines of people like me keep the ‘pie in the sky’ people grounded in the realities of our capabilities. With that being said, I am worried that lacking passion will prevent me from future advocacy.