Sunday, April 4, 2010

A new chief in town

Already during my first stay in Wau was I invited on a rather special experience that I would like to share with you.

My colleague, Mariana, comes from a small village, Abushaka, 40 minutes drive outside of Wau. In the village it was apparently time to get rid of the old chief and replace him with a new and younger model (let me just mention that this is a political position and the chief was appointed by the Governor) – though I have to say the new chief did not seem that much younger than his predecessor.

The choice of a new chief need to be celebrated, and so it was! 3 days of party with visitors from near and far – nothing less will do.

Many different tribes were present and most of the people dressed in traditional clothing and dancing non-stop for 3 days.

Mariana, her sisters and I went out to the village Sunday afternoon after mass (ok, I didn’t go but had to wait for the others to come out of church). It was the last day of celebration and less happening but we still decided to go and have a look.

The new chief had decided to do the opposite of his people and show up in a suit and with a very nice walking cane – not being too young and all. It seemed he hadn’t completely adjusted to the job and the many tasks that comes with it such as making himself available for photo sessions with curious kawaajas (that is what they call us white people), so I had to settle for a photo together with the Wau County Commissioner, a very charismatic man introducing himself as Freedom Fighter and now chosen by the people to care take their interests. How he has been chosen by the people in a country I did not ask him, since I was not there to discuss politics but rather to take some nice photos on a Sunday afternoon – and to transfer as many women and children as possible back to Wau .

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