Greetings from the back of beyond. I thought I'd seen all the places that comprise the 'middle of nowhere' but apparently not.
It’s about 10pm at night and it’s been a bad day. Day 2 in Geneina and we have a hostage situation in one of our field locations in which 2 staff were taken by some Janjaweed and held in ransom for compensation of some other killing. Mind you, they were taken accidentally - happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - but that’s of little comfort when you realize that the people who took you couldn't care less and have every intention of killing you when they don't get their money and are being controlled by a very dangerous (read: evil) leader. I know there is much discussion about whether we can identify men/nations as evil but this man is unequivocably evil. I digress. They ended up being released and are now waiting for a helicopter to free up on the UN rota so that we can evacuate them.
Anyway, I’ve not had the best day and as I’m laying in bed watching Scrubs, listening to donkeys hold a ‘disgruntled donkey convention’ outside our compound – the shooting starts. Shooting in Geneina is not unusual – it sounds like someone cooking some popcorn all night. You can easily count around, at least, 150 rounds being popped off nightly. However, shooting outside my window is a different matter entirely and I quickly ran through the options in my head which were:
1) continue lying in bed as I am more likely to be hit standing up
2) roll off the bed and onto the ground and under the bed
3) stand up, cross the compound and go to the safe room
4) pretend I didn’t hear it and continue watching Scrubs and hope they go away
Let’s be honest. I should have employed options 1-3. But, I was not only tired and grumpy, but am inherently lazy, so I stayed in bed.