Budgets and Borders

It’s just after sunset and we are heading to the Suez canal. We left Cairo at around 5PM in the rush hour traffic. Normally on a travel day we’d leave in the morning, but today was not a normal travel day. It was cold and my headlight wasn’t working. There are times when you just have to suck it up and ride.

We arrived at the military checkpoint before the tunnel that goes under the Suez canal. I can feel my own heartbeat as we pull up to the front of the queue. We greet the guard with our slowly improving Arabic.

سلام علكم
كيف الحال

We get a smile in return as they recognise us. This was the third time we were attempting to get through this roadblock. Would this time be different? Would we be turned away again. Were we going to end up bankrupt trying to resolve the mess we had found ourselves in?


Okay… okay, I should really start this story at the beginning. Around about 3 weeks earlier we had arrived in Cairo. Arriving in this city felt significant as it was the beginning of the end of our travels. The traffic was busy and aggressive. Anneen following behind me, and my GPS providing directions to my headphones, we tried to find our way to the hostel where we intended to stay. We’d learn over the next few weeks how the GPS would be really difficult to follow and would sometimes give wrong instructions. Roads would be blocked, preventing turning in certain directions and missing a turn might double your travel time. We found the hostel which was on the roof of a seven story building near the center of Cairo. We were used to just parking our bikes in the foyer or outside the building but for the first time we actually had to go seek out a formal parking lot. I was getting accustomed to the Egyptian way so I knew the first price the parking lot gave me would be negotiable. Luckily my Arabic was good enough to get the price down to half the original price. It was still a little pricey but our accommodation was cheap so it balanced out. We got an early night as we knew we had a busy day ahead of ourselves.

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From a travel point of view we had reached the most difficult part of our trip. It was not negotiating a river with no bridge or riding a sand track, it was politics. We had learnt about 5 months after leaving home that Egypt had changed its policy regarding motorcycles being allowed into the Sinai peninsula. This was a problem for us as this is the overland route to Israel from Egypt. We heard from about 4 or 5 overlanders that were not allowed to cross Sinai during the course of the year. The official reason quoted by the government was that motorcycles (and 4x4s) were not allowed for safety reasons. But this didn’t add up, as tourists were allowed to enter on a bus or a regular car. It seems that a few months before there was an incident where a group of tourists were mistaken for terrorists (ISIS) and were killed by the Egyptian army. This was obviously bad publicity for the Egyptian Tourist Authority. I suppose the army was happier with tourists sticking to buses and the normal tourist spots, not going off the beaten track. Also there had been some terrorist activity in the north of Sinai where they were using motorcycles and 4x4s. I suppose the army was trying to reduce the number of vehicles in Sinai that could potentially go off road. Anyway, long story made short is that when we entered Egypt we were not sure that we would be allowed to travel to Israel.

Back in Kenya we had seriously considered leaving our bikes there and continuing using public transport. But we had been listening to some sermons and in one of them a missionary documents how he tried to get into Kosova in a time when Americans were not allowed to enter. Everyone told him he was stupid for trying. He didn’t get the visa but traveled to the land border in any case. He said that no Americans had been allowed to cross but that those people weren’t called by God to go to Kosova. God would make a way. And he did… after much drama. With that testimony we had decided to proceed to Egypt. We really believed (and still do) that it is God’s plan for us to finish our trip in Israel.

Anyway, that next day in Cairo we had planned to go to the ministry of tourism to convince them to let us through. We found the place after the usual Cairo – GPS shenanigans. Meeting with someone from the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) we got our paperwork in order and they helped us draft a letter to the ministry of defense. The ministry of defense had the authority to grant a permit in this instance. Once we had the letter we went to the ministry of defense to talk to more government officials. We met with a very busy man whose phone never stopped ringing. At one point I clocked him talking on two phones at the same time. We spent a few hours in his office but the net result is that we were denied a permit. This was obviously disappointing.

Over the next few days we considered a few other options. Eventually we decided to try crossing Sinai with the bikes in the back of a van. Skipping a lot of details we managed to get a van with a driver and set off for the Suez tunnel which we had been told is where the road block was. The bikes were covered to try and avoid any questions. When we arrived we noticed that there was a large army presence, even by Egypt standards. We passed several military bases on the way. We had some success as we made it passed the first group of army personal. But then the van had to drive through a large gate that I think may have been an x-ray machine. Within 20m the van was stopped so that it could be searched. Denied! Tried to reason, showed them our ETA letter but they would not let us through. Back to Cairo again.

A few days latter we were back at ETA. They told us to wait a few more days for General Ahmed Hamdy to return from a business trip to Saudi Arabia. We was senior at ETA and had a military background. When we met with him he made some phone calls on our behalf. We spent most of the day at ETA but still didn’t have luck getting a permit. He wrote us a new letter that he addressed to the army and told us to show it to the guards. He was convinced that this would get us through. He also gave us his phone number to call should we have any trouble.

So the next morning we find ourselves on a familiar route. This time without the van. Extremely cold. Winter was definitely with us. This time we get stopped before the xray scanners and they begin to explain why we are not allowed through. We pull out the letter which does not impress them. We try to act confident as they go through it. We also try to get the general on the line to defend the letter. Unfortunately we only get voicemail. They try to chase as away but we stand our ground and try to make it their problem. After an hour or two the army (correctly) deduces that General Hamdy does not have authority to grant us permission. We wait around a bit longer but the army assures us that the outcome will not change without the correct permit.

When we left this time we had concluded that we not return to Cairo. Either we made it through or we went to Alexandria to inquire about having the bike shipped to Israel. As you can imagine we were upset at the outcome but I tried to rally the two of us towards a new goal. The rest of the day we road to Alex whiles trying to figure out what we could have done differently at Suez.

Alex is a really pleasant city. This was also the first time we had seen the ocean since Dar-Es-Salaam (Tanzania). It was weird to think that we were so close to Europe. Just the Mediterranean sea in our way. Alex was also the home of the best shwarma we had on the entire trip. It makes me hungry just thinking about it! Also affordable! Egypt has a lot of variety, even on a budget.

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Getting the ball rolling we started inquiring about shipping. A very sad prospect as Alex (Egypt) to Ashdod (Israel) can’t be more than a couple hundred kilometers. If anyone wants information check out Gramaldi lines (mentioned on hubb). The quote to ship was UD$500 for both bikes. For reference the bikes are worth $500 each. But that didn’t include taxes and port fees. This can be difficult to nail down but we tried to find out how much this would cost. A fixer wanted $800 to clear both bikes. This was now getting expensive. Would we be willing to pay more than the bikes were worth to ship 300km? Before we could proceed the shipping company also wanted to know which company would be receiving the bikes in Israel. This got us investigating tax and port fees in Israel. From our research it seemed like this could cost $1000. This was now ridiculous. This was basically the rest of the money we had, even after maxing out our credit cards.

At this point we really needed to consider our options. I will spare you the details but abandoning the bikes in Egypt was also a very expensive option. It’s really a rollercoaster ride. Today’s best option becomes tomorrow’s bad option and today’s unthinkable option becomes tomorrow’s best option. We had decided that we had two options, air freight or ride the bike south to Sudan and re-evaluate. There was a time limit on how long the bikes could remain in Egypt and it was becoming a problem. We didn’t have much hope for air freighting as we had heard some very expensive quotes. We began to think that South Africa to Egypt might only be our half way point. We know someone in a similar predicament rode back to South Africa in 4 weeks. This might also be our cheapest option.

The next morning we got a surprise phone call. It’s General Hamdy! He wants to know whether we made it through the Suez tunnel. We bring him up to speed and he seems surprised that we went to Alex. He says that we should go back to ETA. We decide that Cairo might not be a bad option as we can inquire about air freighting and it’s also closer to the Sudan border. So once again we find ourselves on the road unexpectedly. All these sudden changes in plans means the bikes aren’t getting their usual TLC and oil changes but we have no choice. We are at the mercy of the wind. Which way is it blowing today? Sudan?

Back in Cairo we head back to ETA. This time the General seems to be on a mission. On the phone shouting at people, making notes, signing things, stamping things. We sit outside the office trying to make phone calls inquiring about air freighting. We didn’t have much hope for a permit. I think at this point we had about 4 or 5 days to get out of Egypt. A problem as it would take us that long to ride to the border. We also needed to get a new visa which might have required getting a letter from the South African embassy. The General emerges from what sounds like a heated meeting. I wonder if it’s regarding us or something else. We had planned to go to the airport to follow up on air freighting quotes when ETA closed but it was looking increasingly like we would have to make a mad dash for Sudan. 3pm comes by and the General emerges. Every now and again we has a question to ask us or wants to see some specific paperwork. “Would you like to cross Sinai today?”. Looking at the time we reply, “I think tomorrow is better”. We are assuming he wants to know what date should be on this hypothetical permit. “No, no. This is your permit. You need to cross today!”. We look at each other in surprise. After some excitement, thanking and hand shaking we begin to realise what that means. It’s 3pm and the sun sets at around 5pm. We need to get a taxi back to our hotel, retrieve our bikes from parking, pack our bags, negotiate rush hour traffic and ride the one and a half hours to Suez. Surely we would not make it before sunset.


We rush, adrenaline now pumping. Back at the hostel Anneen starts packing and I retrieve the bikes. As was becoming customary I had to argue with the parking lot attendant. The parking lot is so full that to fit everyone in they park a number of vehicles in. Our bikes are in the back corner and the attendant is having a tantrum. He has car keys but doesn’t want to move the cars. I’m struggling to express the urgency in the situation (adrenaline still pumping). He starts to move cars and purposefully makes it more difficult than it has to be to try and make a point.

So here we are. Back in Suez. This time in the dark and with a different piece of paper. They check the permit and make some phone calls. They are very careful not to get in trouble with their superiors. After quite a lengthy phone call he looks up and smiles. There is about 10 or so soldiers with us. The ones that recognise us from our previous attempts, cheer. “Today you will pass”. Just to make sure the soldiers photograph the permit. I suppose evidence for their superiors to investigate. Both the guards and ETA tell us that we are the first motorcycles to be granted a permit since they were banned (some 7 months before). From there we are escorted past the first boom to the second boom. There the police service want to go over our paperwork. After more phone calls we are told to proceed. Just at the entrance to the tunnel two soldiers shout for us to stop. Riffles poised and ready. They assume that we snuck past the previous roadblocks and don’t want to let us past. More phone calls and we are allowed to proceed. In my helmet I celebrate crossing the Suez canal and in so crossing from Africa to the Middle East. On the other side we are stopped by another soldier. All that remains now is to ride by moonlight in the cold and try to find somewhere to stay.


For the record there are many motorcycles in Sinai. Obviously! The military didn’t confiscate motorcycles from locals when the ban came into being. We spent 2 days crossing Sinai. We had to take the Southern coastal route to avoid the dangerous areas. Down to Dahab, which we hope to visit again before returning to South Africa. From there we crossed at Taba to Eilat (Israel), which is the old overland route before the ban came into being.


Crossing the border into Israel was like leaving Africa / the Middle East and arriving in Europe. Super organised and professional.

On the Egypt side more people wanted to see the permit which they took away from us at the border. They also unpacked all our luggage. They freaked out a little when they saw the quadcopter. After showing them a picture of it flying they were happy that they now knew what it was. They told us not to bring it back to Egypt. All in all $8 each to cross on the Egypt side. A lot cheaper than customs at the Alexandria port.

On the Israel side it was smooth. We were not interrogated, which is customary for those with Sudan stamps in their passports. Insurance was expensive!

Next time I’ll give you an update about life in Israel. We will be here a few months, which will allow us to get stuck into post production. There is a lot of work ahead!


Jalaabiyas and Hijabs

It is hard for me to believe but this is going to be the last blog post / update that we post whilst “on the road”. We will hopefully enter Israel in the next week (or two), entering a new
phase in the journey where our focus will be on filming the fictional component of the documentary as well as post production and other finishing touches. We are currently in Cairo, Egypt.
The last month has been insightful, fun, rough, up-and-down and everything inbetween. We met with our last contact until Israel in Ethiopia. We were put in contact with a missions
organisation in Addis Ababa by a mutual contact in Johannesburg. We were really encouraged to see the passion of the Ethiopians for reaching the lost in their country as well as to equip
and send out missionaries to neighbouring countries. We were also privileged to meet a South African couple based in Addis Ababa that are working amongst the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.
It was a blessing sharing a meal with them and learning about their experiences and vision for the church in Ethiopia and Eritrea.



Leaving Addis we took a spin through some of the Ethiopian highlands, where it was freezing cold on the bikes. We visited the famed churches of Lalibela. These structures were carved
directly into the rock in the 10th and 11th centuries as ordained by king Lalibela who was reigning over the ethiopian empire at the time. These churches are still operational today and
many local adherents to the orthodox faith make pilgrimage to the site. It was interesting to see priests wandering the streets in their garmets and to hear the bells and music calling
people to church. It is a very different experience to church in East London! Please pray for the Ethiopian Orthodox church that is will experience renewal by the Holy Spirit and that
believers will be raised up in this church that will challenge centuries old beliefs that are deviant from the bible. After our visit to Lalibela we decided to head to Gondar from where we
can cross the border to Sudan. Originally we had planned to visit Axum and the Simien Mountains as well, but with December approaching we were feeling the heat to reach Israel by


Gondar itself is an interesting old town which contains the remains of some castles dating from the 18th century. It is a little bit strange seeing castles in Africa. It felt rather
European, but it was very interesting nontheless. After visiting the sights we spend a morning going through our luggage and trying to identify anything that may be problematic if found in
our luggage by Sudanese, Egyptian or Israeli police. We identified a few DVD’s about Muslim evangelism and documents related to the film and placed them in a parcel that we sent to East

With our luggage sorted out we headed the next morning for the Sudanese border. As we were driving towards the border the landscape was falling away, we were going lower and lower and it
was getting hotter. We were starting to experience the famed heat of Sudan. Although not the fastest, the border crossing was relatively easy and we were free agents in Sudan by around
16:00. The pressure was on to drive the 150km to Qadarif, the nearest town to the border. After a pothole dodging slightly rough ride where Jeff’s top box decided to fall off whilst
cruising at 80km/h (luckily nothing was damaged!) we made it to Qadarif at about 19:00. The next challenge was finding a hotel in the dark in a Sudanese town where everything is written in
Arabic. We circled around until about 20:00 at which point I suggested to Jeff that we stop at an eatery and get some dinner and use that as an opportunity to possibly ask some locals. We
had hardly ordered some chicken, salad and bread when a local guy approached me wanting to know where we are from and whether he can buy dinner for us! We assured him that we had already ordered but asked if he knew a hotel, which he did. It was around the corner. He also said we should visit his store in the market the next morning for tea.


And such was our time in Sudan. We experienced some of the most friendly, helpful and hospitable people in this country. That first morning in Qadarif our friend from the previous evening,
Mohammed, had us for tea whilst another friend of his, Bashir, who bought us breakfast and coffee. It was great to experience exactly where and what the locals eat and to sit and chat,
although it was limited by our broken Arabic and our friend’s limited English. From Qadarif we headed to Madani and then on to Khartoum where we spent 3 nights. Khartoum is a big bustling
city. We enjoyed the local restaurants where you pick your meat from the butcher before it is prepared for you as well as the delicious smoothies. They went down really well in the heat.
Sudan appears to have quite conservative Islamic culture. Most men were dressed in traditional Jalaabiya (white man-dress) and women wore various forms of hijab or niqab. We camped for our
three nights in Khartoum. We had the “privilege” of being right next to a mosque, which woke us at 4:30 every morning with the call to prayer. Jeff was able to pick up some nice shots of
mosques and Muslim people that will be useful in the film.

From Khartoum we headed north to Shendi. We wanted to explore Sudan’s most famous tourist site, the pyramids of Meroe. These pyramids are similar, although smaller, to those found in
Egypt. It was an unique experience going there. There are roughly 20-30 pyramids at the site, which we had to ourselves as it is out in the dessert with not many people around. Sudan is
apparently full of pyramid sites and other archeological sites as Nubia has a history as long as that of Egypt and at one stage it was Nubia that ruled over all Egypt. There are also
various sites where one can see ancient Nubian churches dating from the 7th to 14th centuries when Nubia (Sudan) was a Christian kingdom. Eventually Sudan was invaded though by the Arabs
and Islam spread. From Shendi we headed to Atbara and on the Karima, where we saw more pyramids before spending a night wild camping in the dessert. What an experience. It was cold and
extremely windy, but fantastic.

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We reached Wadi Halfa the next day where we spent the night preparing to cross the notorious border to Egypt. The Egyptian border crossing is known to be difficult, painfully slow and
expensive. It was slow and expensive, but we found it to be organised and professional. It did take the whole day though and after leaving we missed the last ferry across lake Nasser to
Abu Simbel and had to spent another night wildcamping in the dessert. This time it was luckily a little less windy. We were unprepared for this camping but luckily still had a bit of
spaghetti which we could cook and ate with pepper. The dinner of champions.

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Abu Simbel was not our favourite experience in Egypt, it is an expensive little tourist / backwater town. But is was interesting to go and see the temple Ramses II built to himself. What
an ego trip. From Abu Simbel we headed to Aswan and then on to Luxor where we took a rest day. Egpyt has a complex grid of police blocks / checkpoints on the roads. We were stopped at some
of these points just to check our passports but at others we were ordered to wait for a police vehicle that would escort us into town or part of our way. The police we always really
friendly though and gave us tea and water to drink. On our way to Luxor we were stopped and had to wait 1.5 hours for a car that never showed up but the police officer in charge gave us
tea and lunch which was a nice treat.

From Luxor we had two hard days riding to Asyut and on to Cairo. The ride from Asyut to Cairo was particularly cold and it started raining some of the way. By the time we arrived in Cairo
we were exhausted and sore from sitting and shiverring on the bikes all day. We have spent the last 3 days in Cairo trying to get permission to cross the Sinai peninsula to Israel on our
bikes. Unfortunately we were denied permission so we are now looking at options to ship our bikes to Israel. The most promising option is overland shipping on the back of a truck. Please
pray together with us that we will have wisdom to choose the right option and that we will be able to make it to Israel without incident. Also please keep us in your prayers as we are
start our time in Israel that we will be able to connect with the right people, that we will find suitable accommodation and that we will be able to successfully source actors, equipment
and locations in order to film our narrative piece. There are also still some key interviews that we would like to get with some key people whilst in Israel. Please pray that we will be
able to set up and co-ordinate these interviews.

Thank you to everyone that has been supporting us, encouraging us and following our journey as we have been filming and collecting material for “A Narrow Path”. We hope that you will
continue to follow our progress as we progress into the next phase of our journey.

Enjeera and Wat?

We arrived in Addis Ababa after 6 full days riding from Nairobi. The landscape of Northern Kenya was pretty dry but beautiful. We passed many big herds of camels and cattle. Ethiopia has been quite different. The landscape has varied from lush tropical forests to dessert.


We have spent 5 days in Addis. We had to apply for our Egyptian visas so we have stayed just long enough. We had a nice opportunity to connect with a missions organisation here in Addis and have been really encouraged by the work that they are doing.

The next few weeks hold a lot of riding for us. We want to be in Israel by Christmas. So we have about 5 weeks to get through Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

Please pray for us for easy border crossings and for permission to cross the Sinai peninsula. If we cannot cross Sinia we will have to ship our bikes and this is extra expense.


Anneen and Jeff



Pastors and Sheikhs

We had just ridden a mammoth day and were quite tired. We had really enjoyed a break on Lake Bunyonyi, so we stayed an extra day than we had planned. The result is that we had to try and ride from Kabale to Kampala in just a day, a bit further than normal but manageable. However, about 30km into the day, Anneen got a flat tyre. This was our first flat, which is amazing since we had already ridden 18,000km. We managed to get it fixed but lost a little time. We pressed on trying to get to Kampala before dark. Passing a monument marking the equator, I quickly stopped for about 120 seconds, just enough time to take a picture. The sun was beginning to set so there wasn’t much time to spare. Arriving in Kampala we had missed our goal, it was already dark. Anneen spotted a guesthouse named “Plan B Guesthouse”. We laughed but decided to stick to plan A. We don’t usually book ahead but this time we had booked at a backpackers because we had to have a package posted to us from South Africa. We had managed to cross 2 borders without anyone complaining about the lack of a number plate on Anneen’s bike but decided it needed to be replaced. Unfortunately after trying in both Tanzania and Rwanda this meant shipping from South Africa. As we got closer to the center of Kampala the traffic got pretty knarly, compounded by the darkness. Luckily we managed to navigate the busy town without incident and arrived at our planned stop for the night.


The capital itself is busy and chaotic, quite different from Kigali in Rwanda. Boda boda (motorcycle taxis’) are abundant, to the point where it’s difficult to know where to look. I remember learning my observations when I learnt to ride a bike at age 16, but this was ridiculous. The next day we got onto our primary task in Kampala, acquiring a visa for South Sudan. We had our letter of invitation from Isis South Sudan, our passports, photographs and money. In theory all you need to get a visa. We listened to all the applicants going through the process and getting told, “Come back on Thursday to collect your visa”. Unfortunately after filling in the paper work they sprung a surprise on us, they wanted to see the company / organization registration document for Iris. We knew this would probably mean coming back tomorrow. So we sent an email to Iris and got the response the following morning. Heading back they seemed happy with the paperwork and responded, “Come back on Monday to collect your visa”. Monday? It seems the embassy is closed in Friday through to Sunday. Unfortunately this was going to push back our arrival in South Sudan.

With our new gained free time in Kampala I got some editing done that was hanging over me. We also did a day trip to Jinja, which turned into an impromptu over night trip. In Jinja we saw the source of the Nile, well one of the sources. Is it really possible to locate the source of a river (queue Top Gear)? In Kampala we also took the opportunity to replace the headlight bulb on my bike which only had brights and not dipped lights. There was a mechanic at the entrance to the backpacker which seemed to be making a living servicing bikes belonging to expats. The locals all have Chinese 125cc bikes, but here there were quite a few bigger bikes. Whiles chatting to the mechanic we met another customer, an American. It turned out he was a missionary, so we decided to mention our project. As we head further north we’re trying to be more careful about talking about our project as in some places it would not be well received. After hearing about our project he told us about a Muslim background believer he knew that he thought would be keen to talk to us. He summarized his story, which was quite something. It involved fleeing his home country due to the conflict in Dafur, and then also having to flee Egypt because of his conversion. We exchanged contact details and planned to try to get in touch.

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Monday came around and we reclaimed our passports with the additional visa. South Sudan is currently in civil war. After gaining independence only a few years ago the various tribes in the country began to compete for power. There are many rebel groups operating in the country, including the LRA (although it is thought that they are currently in the DRC). Before we had applied for the visa we had sought advice from Iris regarding security. We had been given advise about a safe route and that reassured us. While applying for the visa and confided in God, “If it is unsafe then prevent us from getting the visa”. But now I stood with visa in hand ready to head north. We looked back over the email from Iris. They advised against going to the capital and using the main route. There were known bandits and regular issues. But there was an alternative road to Yei that only required riding 80km within South Sudan.

A few days later we approached the border with South Sudan. We were told that the only tar roads in the country existed in the capital and sure enough the perfect tar road ended at the border post. After doing paper work on the Ugandan side we proceeded to the South Sudan side. The local immigration officers told us that we had to register with the authorities and pay a fee. I was unsure about whether I was being taken for a ride but paid and proceeded. Within 10m of crossing the border people in plain clothes pulled us over. I was very weary of anybody claiming to be an authority because of all the rebel activity. How do you know who you can trust and who you cannot? They wanted to search our bags, so we began to go through our belongings. We insisted that we open one bag at a time and go through things together, to avoid things disappearing. Maybe I was being difficult but after half an hour they moved us to a building. This was actually reassuring as there were at least official looking government logos on the building. Another half an hour of searching occurred. We’re still not entirely sure what they were looking for. Surprisingly the quad-copter was not a problem for them. However there was some excitement when they found a stash of A Narrow Path stickers. The manager stepped in and we were told we could go.

Leaving the border town we were weary of being on the road after dark. About 10km along the route we passed another government building. They wanted us to stop but I decided to keep riding. We had already completed our formalities, why should I give another person an opportunity to try to scam us. However another 200m down the road there was roadblock. We had to turn back but it was harmless in the end. We had just passed the border for the DRC and they wanted to check our passports. Luckily this time no bag searching, only a few questions about our belongings.

After this we proceeded on to Yei. South Sudan is our second country that drives on the right, but it’s a little different on dirt roads. You tend to drive in the middle of the road however when you encounter a vehicle coming the other way you have to remember to move over to the right rather than the left, a little confusing. Arriving there we waited for our host to come find us. Apparently a white person waiting in town for more than 5min is very suspicious and we had various ‘officials’ wanting to ask us questions. At one point I was taken to a building for further questioning. I make all the questioning sound bad, but really it makes perfect sense. The country is in civil war and there really couldn’t have been many tourists around. It’s funny how a little bit of fear affects your perception and your ability to trust people. Sometimes when you are travelling you forget how your attitude tints your experience. After this round of questioning our host found us and took us back to the Iris compound.

We spent around about a week with Iris in total. We really had a fantastic time. The base is the smallest of the 3 Iris bases we have visited and actually for both of us probably the one we enjoyed the most. We got to know all the missionaries there and many of the kids. Maybe the reason why our experience was different from other Iris bases was that there were no other visitors there. It really felt like we got to experience what life was like on the base. Sometimes on the other bases we have visited it’s tempting to mainly interact with other visitors.

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Somehow in the midst of a country in turmoil the Iris base has such a sense of peace about it. It was fantastic to also see the kids really getting stuck into God there. A highlight there was worshiping with the kids during youth meeting.

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Also while there we got to film some content with 2 different MBB’s, a Christian who’s brother converted from Christianity to Islam and various other people. Probably our most interesting interview was chatting to a pastor about the effects of war on the church. He really had a heart for peace making. Sudan was interesting for us because of the divide between the Arab (Islamic) north and the Buntu (Christian) south. We were really interested in how these two groups interact. We also got to meet with an Englishman who had been in South Sudan for around 20 years who answered a lot of our questions about history and politics. Right at the end of our stay we met up with a couple that are planning to resettle in a refugee camp near the border of Sudan.

This is getting a little long, I know, so I’m going to summarize the next couple of weeks after that. Please excuse the brevity. After dealing with a border official that didn’t want to let us back into Uganda, we ended up in a town called Arua. We had a contact there that worked with Scripture Union. We were really blessed with our time there. We got an opportunity to spend time with both a pastor and a sheikh who are involved with debates between Christians and Muslims. We got an opportunity to film an open-air church meeting in a local market. We also got to join Scripture Union on one of their outings to a church in a pretty remote part of north Uganda.

After Arua we went on to meet up with the contact that we’d been put in touch with via the American in Kampala. I don’t want to divulge too much about his story but it was quite an emotional story and we were blessed that he was willing to share it with us. Our film has 3 sub storylines, one of which is a scripted non-fictional story that we intend to shoot in a couple of months. We’ve already started the scripting process and █████’s testimony very closely follows the themes of the climax of that story line. This makes this interview really useful to us. We praised God that he would delay us in Kampala and set up this opportunity for us!


After this we had a couple of long days riding that led us to Kenya. We’ve had to make some calls about our trip, but more on that next time!