So we Chicagoans get to see the sun for the first time in three days, but I am still wrapped up about a conversation I had last night at my parish. There was a priest from the Comboni Missionaries there who had just come back from south Sudan this past June. He had lived there for the past ten years as a parish priest.
As we ate pizza, I asked what they ate in south Sudan. He said that people in the regions where he lived only ate one meal a day. The meal was composed of a some flour and water with peanuts and a sauce on top. This was the only meal you ate every day. The people could not grow very much food in the region and they didn't have the resources to raise much more than a few chickens and goats.
I then asked about disease, in particular AIDS. He said something that really shocked me. Since Sudan is an Islamic State the government will deny anything that makes it look as if the country isn't perfect. This includes AIDS. While there is obviously a growing epidemic, the government flat out denies it and medical clinics treat people with AIDS by giving them some form of aspirin.
I guess anytime you get a real description of a third world country it is a bit shaking. I knew that life in Sudan was bad, but it seems that every time I hear more about the country it is worse and worse. Of course, it also makes me question what is the use of computer science when people are out there are starving and being marginalized by a blind government.