South Sudan – the start of a new journey
I’m moving to South Sudan!
I have decided once again to move abroad and this time I’m moving to South Sudan, the newest country in the world. The first time I moved abroad was in 2014 when I got a scholarship for Master’s studies and moved to Chicago for about two years. Now, it’s been more than four years since I moved there, completed my studies, and came back to Kosovo. I remember myself moving across the ocean without knowing much but the fact that I had to return upon completion of my studies. There was a requirement of 400 volunteer hours I had agreed on prior departure with the scholarship provider. This time it’s much more different and difficult as I’m moving to a country that is among the least stable countries. It will be my first time in Africa and I’ll be working with UN Volunteers. From the safety point of view, I know the UN puts its staff safety at the top; so nothing to worry about. However, there is so much more to adjust to weather, culture, language, and food.
The hardest part until now was telling my family about it, in particular, my parents. I remember when I told them about moving to the US; they were worried I wouldn’t come back and they wouldn’t get to see me often. This time was even harder as “moving to Africa” doesn’t sound safe to many people. It’s a generalization I know, but I’m just telling how it is. Any time most people in my country hear Africa their minds go to starving children, terrorist groups, malaria, and what not. But Africa has been in my travel plans for this year, so this job came at a great time.
How did I decide about moving to South Sudan?
I had registered times back at the UNV platform and all of a sudden one day I receive a job offer three years later. To be honest, I only knew a little about South Sudan, and still, I don’t know much (but I’ll be researching everything I can before I leave). I asked around in several Facebook groups, I “stalked” my FB friends to see if anyone has been in that area. I talked to whoever I found to have some knowledge about there. Then I had the interview and a few months after I got the email saying I’m being seriously considered for the position. Then it all went very fast with the other procedures (I still have some left to be done) and the time came to let everyone know about my decision.
It will only be an 8-month placement; however, I am very excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to research and learn more about the country.
If you know anything about moving to South Sudan, you’ve been or are there, or know someone who is there – comment or email me.