Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Into the Eyes of Strangers become Friends

Samir has been to Somalia, Mumbasa, Sudan, and many other dangerous areas, and has almost been shot while out on the field. He met an Icelandic girl at the campsite we’re staying at a couple weeks ago, and now they’re talking about their future children… interesting to me because they only knew each other/saw each other for about 2 weeks… and then it’s a long distance relationship… and they are planning on getting married and the girl wants 10 kids. They have incredible and astounding stories to tell. But it was weird to hear about how they think because it’s so different from what you would hear back in the U.S. well at least with the people I know. Samir is still at the campground with us, and has been very helpful in acting as a translator and bodyguard as he used to be a cop. His past is sad but he has done so well to rise from it. His mother was abused by her father and she married a British man in an attempt to get away from the physical abuse. However, her husband beat her too. In Samir’s words, “we haven’t seen my father in many years. And we’re very happy because of it.” I can’t even imagine… He also made a delicious, authentic Kenyan dish for us at Phillippe’s house (he started renting a guesthouse when he had the opportunity because it’s is a lot cheaper and he is staying for several months) last night with many many spices, chicken, and vegetables. It was made on a clay stove sort of device heated by a fire in the bottom and coal on the top part. We put it on a dead tree trunk (the night before we cooked hot dogs on this clay stove and the center of the dead tree trunk caught on fire so we got to see the inside of the trunk burn… it looked like a volcano getting ready to erupt). We sopped up the thick stew with French bread as we watched a movie on Phillippe’s laptop. I was curled up in a hammock with a warm blanket around me, and wow. It was so peaceful.

Phillipe is a 21-year old French-Canadian who just graduated from McGill and has served in the Canadian military. He has extensive travel experience and war-training experience and he carries around a machete in his bag at all times. I definitely feel safe with my two bodyguards. Phillipe seems much older due to his military and travel experience and both the boys treat me like their little sister which is quite nice and comfortable.

1 comment:

happy said...

It's great to see the workd through your eyes...