The Birth of South Sudan

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2011 at 8:28 am


South Sudan gains independence and splits from the North. I won’t go into the technical details; I’m sure someone else will take care of that. But I will document the split from my own perspective.

I am hopeful.

The split, actually, The Independence of South Sudan seemed inevitable. I could not be happier for the people of South Sudan. They now have the opportunity to build and rebuild their homeland. There is a lesson in there somewhere for all of us. Never give up, especially when facing extreme hardship. What’s truly yours will eventually be in your hands. I hope with all my heart that the world’s newest country will become a beacon and role model to the rest of Africa. If South Sudan, not even a day old and already one of the poorest countries in the world, can lift itself and become the Real Wakanda, then there is hope for the rest of Africa. We need South Sudan to step up as Africa’s Superman. For this, I dream and hope.

But I am anxious.

Up to this point I did not know how I would personally react to the split. The country of my birth has changed dramatically. A large part of me has already started remolding my identity, and I am fighting that part desperately. I have taken two decades to form my current identity. An identity which I did not realize, until this point, was incredibly tied to the arbitrary geography of my birth country. And now that the geography has been reformed, my identity is conflicted, confused.

I thought I was prepared for this moment. But this morning, I woke up early and googled the word “Sudan”. I entered the first link: Sudan’s wikipedia article. I scrolled down slightly and saw the new map of the world. And then it hit me. My heart hurt and my breathing changed. There it was. The Old Sudan, fragmented and broken. The Old Sudan has gained nothing and lost everything. Who knows what will happen now?

And then I researched the New Sudan, the South Sudan. And I saw a video of the country’s first elected president, Mr. Mayardit, being sworn into office. And I heard and read about the reaction in Juba. And I felt hope. My selfish feelings, my unavoidable identity crisis, my childish desire to go home to a country whole, all of these are nothing compared to the desperation, the violence, and destruction that lead to this day. Events culminating in an inevitable breaking point. What other trajectory was there?

Today, people are hopeful. And today, people are anxious.

I am just one of these people. And it’s so incredibly… complicated.


Road Trip 2010 Stats

In Octopus on January 17, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I just got back today from a road trip with muz, joey, and bobby. All in all, a very epic and very tiring experience. I’ll probably write about some pages from the saga such that our grandchildren may remember the day their grandparents risked their lives and strengthened their friendships… and lost a lot of their money. But until then, I’ll let you read through the stats (compiled by Joey with some edits by me).

The cities we stopped at in order:

Salt Lake City, Reno, San Francisco, Salinas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Hurricane, Salt Lake City

Vehicle: 2009 Honda Civic EX
Distance Traveled: ~2,400 miles
Longest Distance traveled in one day: 524 miles (Salt Lake City to Reno)
States visited: 4

  • Utah
  • Nevada
  • California
  • Arizona

Duration: 9 days

Lowest Temperature: 19° F, Northern Nevada
Highest Temperature: 82° F, Long Beach

Points traveled:
Northernmost: Wells, NV
Westernmost: Sausalito, CA
Southernmost: Long Beach, CA
Easternmost: Provo, UT
Lowest Elevation: 0 meters/ 0 feet (sea level), Long Beach
Highest Elevation: 1,829 meters/ 6,000 feet, Hidden Canyon at Zions National Park

Near Death Experiences: 4

  • Sama almost driving into a van
  • almost staying at the Rex Motel
  • nearly falling off a cliff at Zions
  • Joey using his too fast too furious driving techniques to avoid hitting a rabbit while we drove through the mojave desert

Major Traffic Violations: ~30?
Times stopped by the police: 0

Percent of Joey’s untouchability: 100%

Domino matches played: ~20
Domino matches won by Sama: 1 (via tie breaker)

Blokus matches played: 1

Blokus matches won by a vengeful Sama: 1 (epic destruction of Joey, Muzzy, and Bobby)
Net balance due to gambling (Reno + Las Vegas): -$109.00

Friends we met up with: Elana, Chi

2010 in review

In Octopus on January 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 54 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 100 posts. There were 39 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 119mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 22nd with 72 views. The most popular post that day was Rap City Rabbit.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and Google Reader.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for takaki komiyama, cowboy ninja viking, komiyama takaki, nirao shah, and batman haunted knight.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Rap City Rabbit December 2009
1 comment


Interview: Dr. Takaki Komiyama March 2010


How Bobby Won the World Cup March 2010


天天開心!by Rob Vavra January 2010


About September 2009