We start off day two as you come to expect as an aid worker; waiting. We work our connections to ensure safe passage into the camps. Without the distraction of a connection it allows me to catch up on emails, still waiting in my outbox for a connection. Wishing my connection would allow me to share my updates.
By noon we head off to the first camp that could be seen as we landed. We pull through the camp, impressively with brick paved partitions straddling the road. We reach the cul-de-sac like end of the road and get out. We walk back the distance of the road with rain clouds heavy in the distance and people in the camp curious to see what we are up to.By the time we reach the other side, a distribution of food is taking place. People care more about this than us. I still take pictures from my stomach to not draw attention. It reminds me of a first photography assignment in Portland, Oregon to do the same at Pio Square, taking “hipshots” of passersby without drawing attention. Little did I know how handy this would come in years down the line.
The second camp we visit is less established, but still growing steadily. We are working on a proposal to provide NFIs, or non food items such as blankets, mosquito nets and basic utensils for people who have fled their homes with little to nothing.
En route we pass an empty plot that appears to be a football field. The colleagues I am with were here only a few months ago when the same space was a massive heap of bodies, perhaps twenty feet high. In an effort to move on from the war, the Turks have helped to incinerate the bodies and leave a sign marking what once was a dumping ground for those who perished. The rain is coming.We continue on the road and I consider how often as I travel there are a lot of unanswered questions. Most often this involves not knowing what comes next. I don’t know where we are headed, but I trust it will be worth it. It most always is. Traveling internationally means giving up on knowing and relying on faith that it will work itself out. Our protection jumps out to survey the coast line. No pirates here.
We head off the road into the dunes that I saw from the plane. We are visiting the beach front land of our fixer. We find a trio of fishermen in under a small shelter. There is a typical wooden boat, with a trio of large sea turtle shells leaned up to protect their fire. The young boy is eager to have his photo taken. The beach would draw flocks of tourists in any other country. Maybe one day.Our fixer says that another woman he brought broke out her bikini for a swim. While ever so tempting, in the baking Mogadishu sun, I’m brave, but not that brave. I have my limits, as reported from Mogadishu. 🙂Cheers,