The last time I was in South Sudan, I was with Gabrielle Kluck flying to a remote part of the country in a very old Russian army helicoptor. We were traveling over a large swamp (the "Sud" in Sudan means swamp) in a pretty tumultuous storm. Gabrielle is one of those intrepid people who laughs in the face of danger. She both flies and jumps out of planes, rides motorcycles and provides ombudsing services in places like Darfur -- but she always does it in style. I remember looking down at the swamp, and then at Gabrielle's fashionable shoes and saying to her "honey, if we come down in this storm, those shoes aren't going to do you a whole lot of good." She laughed.
Gabrielle Kluck is now the Ombudsman for the UN’s World Food Programme in Rome. For this episode, I caught up with her as she was winding down her tenure Ombudsing in the Sudan Region of Africa. In the podcast, Gabrielle gives a first-hand account of working in the pressure-cooker of war-torn peacekeeping operations in S. Sudan, Darfur and earlier in Kosovo. She provides a vivid account of the context of hardship duty stations and then tells a story of working a conflict between an international and national staff to engage parallel issues at the group and systemic level. She also shares generally the ways her work builds collaboration internally in order to more effectively build an external peace in the region.
Listen to this podcast stream or download it here, or listen in iTunes if you prefer.
Cheers for now,