Friday, August 8, 2008

When the bombs fall

A friend of mine posted some pictures yesterday of him and his colleagues all in flack jackets and helmets hunkering down during a mortar attack in Baidoa, Somalia, where he works.

My first reaction, TOTAL jealousy. Like, sick to my stomach jealousy.

I'm really of two minds about this these days.

On the one hand, here in post-conflict land (or even in, god forbid, development land like Nairobi or something), I have bars, restaurants, parties every weekend, I can more or less move freely, I do things like boat rides on the Nile and sitting by the pool eating nachos. I have friends and a boyfriend and a life outside work and my compound (kind of).

On the other hand, I'm not getting shot at, there isn't any real danger, the work is all going to meetings with government and writing five year plans, the urgency is totally absent and the camaraderie, while probably more real, is so much less intense.

I would like to say that now that I have turned 28, I realize that being in a war zone isn't fun and all the things you give up aren't worth the small amount of excitement and I now see that all these other things in my life, these things I've put off for so long, add a richness and a depth that was lacking before.

Really, though, I just keep flipping back to my friend's pictures and going "DAMN I wish I was there."

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