lang="en-US"> 2011 July | National Geographic Assignment Blog

Archive for July, 2011

The End of a Space Era

Posted on July 25th, 2011

It’s 3.45am, I’m battling not only with mosquitoes, but also a swarm of photographers each trying to claim good spot to set up their camera to capture the final shuttle landing. We squeeze ourselves into a prime section of the balcony overlooking the 2.8 mile long runway on which the shuttle is due to land in just over two hours. A combination of smiling sweetly, being small and success with human Tetris secures me a minute spot for my camera. We’re all happy, so long as nobody dares move even a hair’s width from their position. I’ve barely slept and am already melting in the Florida heat and humidity. Two hours spent waiting to get on a bus to take me to the shuttle…

Birth of a Nation

Posted on July 10th, 2011

At 9:00 PM GMT on Friday the Republic of South Sudan was born. It is the end of a long journey that started with a peace deal in 2005 that ended a protracted civil war with the north. President Salva Kiir signed the constitution and took his oath of office during huge, country wide celebrations. The feeling among the crowds is that of a fresh start and a new chapter. But there still is much work to be done. South Sudan is still one of the least developed nations even though they sit on rich oil reserves. Decades of civil war has left South Sudan extremely poor. And as the peace deal with the north remains tenuous the military is the priority recipient of…