we arrived in juba last saturday. I had a number of reservations before coming here. i knew i was going to meet the majority of mary’s family and was a little concerned how they would react to me. i was also concerned about the fact that we came with very little in our pockets and Juba is a very expensive place to stay.
all i can say is, so far so good. i have met most of the family and they havn’t run me out of town yet, so I guess that is a good sign. And while this place is ridiculously expensive, we have been very fortunate and not had to spend so much of our limited resources.
we have been busy since we came. Upon our arrival Saturday we started moving around and talking to so many different people about getting mary a spot to perform for the memorial service of John Garang that was taking place on monday.
On sunday mary approached a couple of the local radio stations to play her songs on the radio. She even got the television station to air a video we produced for her song “missing”.
Monday was the biggest day so far. Mary got a chance to go and perform a couple of songs in front of a large portion of the population of Juba town at the memorial service. Her set started immediately after Salva Kiir, the president of southern sudan, arrived to attend the memorial service. In the middle of her second song, he got up to go review a military parade on the other side of the stage, and he passed by and greeted mary and shook her hand on his way there. She was very happy about that.
We thought on tuesday we might get a chance to rest, but we recieved a call from Sudan Television asking if we could arrange an interview. The interview took up the majority of the day and turned into a small production. They recorded mary singing five of her songs from the album and then did a short interview with her afterwards. The location for this was at the “Oasis” hotel which sits right on the nile river. Very lovely scenery. We even got a chance to take a short boat ride out to one of the many islands to get some shots.
we have been having alot of fun while we are here. both of us want to figure out how to stay, but think we will have to postpone until we figure out how to source work and afford housing. A small two bedroom house can easily go for about $2000 a month. Ridiculously expensive.