Sunday, August 3, 2014

Of phone calls from the AS and adventures at the border

The AS whom I now know are also called the youth live around are part of the town and are among these 'normal' people we see everyday forget me thinking I could identify an AS member easily and run for it ,there is no way as an old guy I was talking to a while ago told me these guys are like snakes they can even be in your house and yet you do not know so be cautious whom you talk to about them, this person you might be telling how bad the AS are might be one of them.Just the other day a driver(casual driver) was arrested by the local authority because he was a suspected AS member and some cook working for UNOCHA no less was found to have links with these famous youth so much for me thinking I can spot them from their trouser length and beard.

Sunday before Idd and we are all rushing through our work so as to ensure we leave Luuq for Idd and much needed break from work.The many reasons the field where the office has only 4 people rocks is that you can go on free breaks without anyone knowing.So Sunday Idd begins yaaaaaaaaaaay and the plan is to get back to office on Wednesday :-) :-)

But on this day peeps are delaying  and its usually me who is ready last and sometimes they have to start making noise they way I'm wasting their time.They tell me its because they have something they need to sort out in town.I think of starting to use their  usual lines about wasting time on them but figure its one against three what are the chances I'll manage to drag them out.Later after they have sorted out the issue(or so I thought) they come and tell me whats going on.

Shide: Rahma you know the AS have been calling us and have said that they need a certain amount of money(4000 USDs).

Me:Why didn't you tell me before

Everyone: Because we know you.1)you'll panic and 2) you'll inform the Nairobi guys and it will make this small issue bigger than it is and you'll run to Dollow Kenyans are cowards.

If it was normal days I'll be stuck on Kenyans are cowards and argue on that but.................

Me:Has this ever happened before? what do you think we should do?

Everyone:Yes it happens all the time. We go for Idd and come and sort this out after that but you should solve this we have tried and unfortunately we are unable to solve it.

Me: Ok (in my head thinking now who are the cowards letting me solve these difficult things on my own)

We leave the office and head to Beleth Hawa/Mandera for Idd. The drama at the Kenyan border in Mandera is just crazy first my colleagues who are Somalis(no Kenyan IDs) but live in Mandera start practising their speeches on how they'll ask the police at the border to let them in and how much we are willing to pay them as bribe because it doesn't matter how Kenyan you are you'll still have to bribe those guys for them to let you in.There is this guy in the office who keeps asking me if the chini kwa chini dance in the Faulu advert is the Kenyan national dance I tell him that he'll have to dance for the police at the border so as to go through.Dude is bit scared but all the times we have seen that Faulu advert he can surely pull it off in the very unlikely event we are told to prove our Kenyaness by doing the national dance.

We get to the border and after lengthy negotiations/explanations, I just wish the guys manning the border could save all of us this because we know they want a bribe and we can't offer because they'll pretend to be offended so we have to wait for them to hint eventually he hints and we give him money for 'mboga'.

Idd was fun!!!!!! ate way too much,laughed and generally had a good time but nothing beats Idds in Isiolo therefore the plan is to Insha aa Allah be at home for the next Idd.Somehow I thought and figured out the AS issue over Idd.My 'well thought out solution' if they want taxes to be paid then its not us to pay but the project vendors,house owner,car owners and other project suppliers who in essence are getting /benefiting from the project.

We informed the project suppliers about this issue, I thought they'll like fight a bit but they have never been easier to talk to they agreed and the taxes were paid.I pray we do not hear from these famous youth again(fingers crossed) keeping in mind they had threatened us 'you think there are areas you can work in and others that you cannot we control all the villages,the AMISOM controls only the bridge and the police station and don't think there is anything stopping us from coming to your office if we want to we can come and at anytime!!!!!!!