|Getting a haircut during Covid restrictions is not an easy thing either in Ireland or South Sudan. Even in the best of times, only a few of the braver ‘hairstylists’ would attempt to cut ‘Asian hair’ as mine is called. With lots of Chinese in the country working in the oil fields, all ‘European’ and Chinese hair is termed Asian! The choice for me was either to let my grey hairs grow until the pandemic disappeared, or to find another solution.
By chance, during a visit to our Teacher Training College in Western Equatoria, I mentioned my predicament to Sr Jacinta Prunty, a Holy Faith Sister from Dublin, one of our latest recruits to Solidarity with South Sudan. She assured me that after years of practice on her late Dad and 5 brothers, she felt equal to the challenge. However, she cautioned that none of her 5 sisters allowed her within a scissors’ length of their hair! The opportunity was too good to pass, and after delicately and diplomatically negotiating around my bald patch, she did Dublin proud.
Soon after Jacinta’s arrival, Covid restrictions were relaxed in the country and now I can return to my old local ‘stylist’ in Juba, who is offering the tempting additional service of hair colouring. I might need to think about that offer!
Even better news is that the college reopened its doors a few months ago to our 70 plus students who spent the previous 8 months kicking their heels at home. Recently, they were joined by 43 new recruits, all eager to train as primary school teachers. When not cutting hair, Jacinta is putting together a new one year diploma course for those who have already received their national certificate in primary school education. With over 8,000 primary schools in the country and only 3 functioning teacher training colleges, every newly trained teacher is a Godsend. Somehow I think that Jacinta’s Hair Salon will be closed to new clients for the foreseeable future, as she concentrates on more pressing matters.
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Descriptor: Juba Office
Latest News,South Sudan