I have been asked “But what exactly were you doing there?” several times, and I always found it difficult to give a proper answer.
On one hand, I am often tempted to give a very vague answer, although this will most probably leave the other person rather dissatisfied. On the other hand, whenever I have tried to go into more detail, I found it complicated to be clear and to the point. And as anybody who worked in the humanitarian sector can imagine, it was even more difficult whenever I couldn’t use the ever-present acronyms and professional jargon aid workers seem to love so much. I decided that the best way to explain what I had been doing is to provide some practical examples of what I have been dealing with whilst working in South Sudan, trying to avoid technicalities and keeping it simple as much as possible.
For whoever is interested in knowing a bit more about the technical aspects of the work, I wrote some entries that you can find here.