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Sunday, April 30, 2006

My Position in Darfur

If you look at the western part of the map you will see a town called Al Junaynah (El Geneina). My base is about a kilometre north of the town. We are about 35 km from Chad. Posted by Picasa

Patrol Gear

This is what I take with on patrol. The bag on the left only has food in for all of us. The bag in the centre is my Runaway bag with water, medical kit, survival kit, a jacket and so forth. Note the blue pipe which is connected to the water bladder in the bag so that I can drink water while the bag is on my back. On the right is my sleeping bag for in case we have to sleep in the Darfur countryside if we are unable to make it back to the base at before nightfall. Posted by Picasa

Patrol Rations

This is the rations for five of us on patrol. On this specific patrol it was me, Maj Theuri, the interpreter, the JEM representative and the GoS representative. Posted by Picasa

SA Observers in Darfur

This is a picture of the other three Military Observers (MILOBS) from South Africa active here in Sector 3 (El Geneina). They have been placed in other bases and I am the only one left in this base. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Some Friends

At our Freedom Day party. From left to right is Madeleine, Hennie, Didi (with AU flag), yours truely and Bartho. Yes, that is not just cola. Posted by Picasa

Patrol Halt

On our way back yesterday we took this halt to allow the protection force a few minutes to eat and answer the call of nature. By this time it was about 44 degrees celcius. Posted by Picasa

Friendly NGO's

This is Maj Theuri and myself speaking to an NGO in El Kereniak village. They are doing a very good job in this country, but many efforts are going to start falling apart soon due to a lack of funding. Posted by Picasa

Entering El Kereniak

This was yesterday entering El Kereniak village. It is peaceful now, but things could change in a day. The last week was their only week in a long time without any incidents. Posted by Picasa

Driving Skills

In this country you have to know how to drive in soft sand. I have learned very quickly. Ahead you can see the protection force lead vehicle. Posted by Picasa

Scenery

This is just one of the places we passed yesterday. Trees like this are usually to be found at wadis. Posted by Picasa

Patrol Leader

Yesterday I was the patrol leader to El Kereniak village. On the left is Maj Theuri from Kenya who is a very capable officer who is currently teaching me a lot and who has been places and done things I still have to get to. Posted by Picasa

Freedom Party

We had the whole base wondering what hit them when we spontaneously and proudly sang the South African national anthem during our Freedom Day celebrations. It is amazing the togetherness people feel when put together in a dangerous situation and I think people in the safety of their homes do not always understand this. Posted by Picasa

Sheepless

This is what we had left to spit after we asked some of the other people in the base to slaughter a sheep for us. Fortunately we still had enough for our Freedom Day celebrations. Posted by Picasa

Wadi at El Geneina

This is the wadi outside the town of El Geneina. I will post another photo of this area in the rainy season to show the difference. The market area of the town is a few hundred metres away from this spot. Posted by Picasa

Base Clinic

Inside the reception area of the Nigerian clinic in our base. The guy leaning against the door is Andrew, a South African police inspector. We were fetching a hypodermic and needle for the Freedom Day spit braai we had organised. Posted by Picasa

Reptile Sunset

I took this picture of one of the many local reptiles at sunset just outside our base. Currently we are entering snake season and should have a pic of a snake some time n the near future. Posted by Picasa

Backdoor View

This is the view out of the back of our base. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Windswept Hope

Just a poem I wrote. People in a situation like this always deserve better. Posted by Picasa

Shower

This is just a pic to show the shower facilities we have in base. Not too shabby. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Don't be fooled

Lesson Nr 1: Apparently in this country a dry Wadi is never a dry Wadi. If you dig about a metre down there is water. Posted by Picasa

Fother Muckers

This is the sign above the tent in which the South African policemen sleep in our base. They are nice guys. Really. Posted by Picasa

Camels

What would this blogspot be without pictures of camels. Posted by Picasa

Sun setting over a job well done

Another day another sunset. Dedicated to those who are actually making a difference in this country. Posted by Picasa

Patrol Monkey

I had this photo taken today at our patrol destination. The guy with the monkey on his shoulder is a GoS policeman and he wanted this photo. He also gave me coffee that had me tap dancing with the caffeine rush it gave me. The man behind him is the platoon commander of the Nigerian platoon who protected us today. Posted by Picasa