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I met a woman and a man, both lost their legs when landmines exploded as they farmed their fields.  I met a young boy of 13 years called Rizigi who lived in darkness because he couldn’t get medicine during the war when he contracted River Blindness.  I met a lot of people living in hard times in South Sudan, the world’s newest country...

The place is bizarre - it’s literally a country with nothing in it, apart from people and jungle. Everything was decimated during the 21-year war with the north.  Even now there’s only 14 kilometres of tarmac road – in a country the size of France – and two factories making beer and bottled water.

Folk scratch around in the dirt trying to grow food or earn a meagre living.  Worse still, ordinary people live in fear that people from another tribe, corrupt police, and roaming militias will raid their houses and decapitate their wives and children during the night.

It’s always the case when I go to places like this that I appreciate coming back to Doune.

The majority of people are friendly, fear is low, we’re all well fed and have the option of a pint.  Doune is really another world.  It’s like another planet or universe. The rest of the world just isn't like Doune.

I always say ‘I’ll never complain again’ when I’m away, but I always do.  It’s human nature I suppose.  But it’s worth remembering that we actually live in heaven, especially at a time when so many people are still living in hell.

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