DAY 31: The Waiting, the Guessing, the Gazing…into the Sky.

This diary should begin from Day 1 (December 1), the day I appeared in Pagak. Now, there is a reason it should start from where it stopped. One of the reason is my memory is fresher…from the most recent to the most distant experiences. Of course, intermittent internet access occurrences could not sustain a daily diary. Thirdly, of course, I am still confused if we are endjoying (celeb-rating) the beginning of 2015 or just welcoming the ending of 2014. I have been hearing everybody wishing me a “Happy New Year” like ‘witching’ me a ‘Heavy New Year’. That’s why I put it simply during Lokichoggio Airport break on the way from Pagak through Gambella to Nairobi today: ‘Happy Near Here’…!

Day 31:

It takes me 4 hours down in the tent gazing outside for the dawn to break. It actually does break, but never succeeds.

All packed, ready to break the cacophony of the caravan planes ferrying the conferees back to their various locations (not a single location will be mentioned here), and to escape the monotony of waiting under-the-tree tea cafes—let me call them coffeetearea (the Coffee-Tea-Area Cafeteria) since the closing of the Pagak Consultative Conference (more about this on Day 12 later).

I mean December 31 by Day 31. This means the end of the year that does not seem to end. Everything seems in a standstill. We just need to fly out of this area, not because it is not fit for good living, but the year has reached its expiration, together with our/my aspirations.

The first three morning trips spread to various geographical directions as they have been doing for the last 7 days. Pagak is a busy town, with about 6 flights a day. Three days ago, four planes landed consecutively, with one taking off from Pagak to Juba; not for ‘Doctors without Borders’, but for WFP (World Food Problem).

It has local passengers aboard (from Pagak to Juba). So, one-sided critics, stop frowning at my trip between Pagak and Nairobi. I know, some of my readers hate not only adventure, but the Nation, itself.

At midday, one plane is missing. It broke a leg! Could it be the fulfillment of my dream the other night. Planes melting in the cloud above onto the crowd below. No, Salva has no bombers. So it could be this news of the AirAsia that has gone missing between Indonesia and Singapore with 162.

Then our missing flight, which is supposed to take us in the evening to Nairobi from Pagak via Gambella, Loki and Wilson airports. Could it be the plane that refused to close its door with Dak Kueth aboard (he was angry…I hear!), or the one that got stuck in the mud as we pushed it like a hardtop Toyota? Gen. Gatwich Dual was aboard!

Now, at 3PM, the two planes have just roared in from their whereabouts, dropped the news that one of their ‘sisters’ is out of operation technically. They have taken off to refuel at Gambella Airport, but then have not return for us. Rumours fly about. They have ‘escaped’ to Nairobi! No, they are on strike for the contract is encroaching on their New Year’s happiness. Now, they might technically ‘sick’. Et cetera.

But the vigil continues. I resorted to reading my favourite novel of the year. It makes the most appropriate news of the year. Under an Achol Tea Tree, taking slow sips from roasted, ground berries of the famous Ethiopian Robusta, I am exactly reading the Newspaper of the year announcing, on page 100 of Chapter 9 (Animal Farm). My daily diary is always concluded with this book in a local dairy farm, a small cattle camp (see picture):

Napoleon puts the timetable of election to April. Snowball is still fighting a war of resistance in the bush after expulsion by Napoleon over disagreement on the Windmill project and politics. Napolean cooks up a coup attempt by his rival and preempts it by violent punishment and banishment. Having scared every citizen to freezing point after a blood massacre of Snowball’s supporters using his pack of privately trained army of young dogs (I can see Mathing-anyior here), Napoleon is now the only candidate on the list. No animal dares to contest his leadership. He must win with 99 percent and be declared the leader (Full review of the Novel soon).

Before election results, or something…the sun now dives before jumping on the last chapter 10.

Watch this space for Day 30…

By Jon Pen de Ngong