A sunrise, an ostrich and a cross-dresser

Once a journalist, always a journalist (or at least a blogger). One of the things I’ve been doing over the past 10 days is to take pictures. Most of the time I only have my phone with me but it’s still good enough to catch the occasional ostrich walking through the camp or some fellow soldiers doing a roleplay.

View from my tent at 6am

Nice view, hey? I still remember my ‘rule of thirds’ which says you should have something interesting happening on one or more of the third-lines of your photo.

Ostrich heading for the washing.

Lastly, a quick one of the soldiers doing a ‘fighting tempations’ roleplay. The guy with the curtain-tie on his head is playing the part of a local Muslim woman who has got involved with a South African soldier. Strictly forbidden from both sides of course but it could still happen. I don’t need to tell you that the roleplay ended badly on both sides. The woman was ‘stoned’ by the local community (with plastic bottles in this case) and the soldier had a choice between castration and repatriation to South Africa. Of course we laughed a lot at the ridiculousness of the situation. Anything for some light relief when you’re deploying to a strict Muslim country for six months.

'It was him'


10 Responses to A sunrise, an ostrich and a cross-dresser

  1. Thanks for the pics. The role play sounds horrifying. It’s good you could laugh.

  2. litlove says:

    Wow, you are on another planet, in terms of nature, climate and culture. I’m glad you’re taking photos, and keeping a journal of any kind? It’s the kind of thing that you’ll want to tell your child all about in years to come.

  3. I don’t know; I’d think that guy would be a pretty easy temptation to resist … pink doesn’t suit him.

  4. Harriet says:

    Wow, that’s a whole other world.

  5. doctordi says:

    Wild, in more ways than one.

  6. ‘Fighting temptations’ – that sounds like some type of medieval morality play to be performed before a crowd of cobblers,fishmongers and maidservants in the village square.

    Love that first photo. Hope it’s all going well.

  7. Pete says:

    Lilian – I think the scary part is that I’m no longer horrified by much about the military. If the country we were deploying to was Burundi or the DRC then a number of the soldiers would be involved with the local women. The leaders here have put the fear of Sharia law into us mostly to deter the soldiers from misbehaviing.

    Litlove – Yes, am keeping a journal of sorts in a poetry book (lots of white spaces) by Ogden Nash. Perhaps I can develop my sense of the ridiculous 😉 Mostly though I think the turtle wouldn’t be that interested and she is only 18 weeks old (and the size of her mother’s palm!) I think even blogging about the tediousness of my days here would drive away my most loyal friends.

    David – I agree. Actually most of these guys would be easy to resist (and that includes by the rebels). Apparently our combat record in the Sudan is pretty poor too. Oops – equating military combat with sexual conquests. I’ve definitely been in the army too long!

    Harriet – Absolutely. And am ready to be beamed up again thanks!

    Di – Hey, you’re back from your staycation. I’ve been thinking of my writing friends and trying to record my impressions. But after a while my brain just shuts down. Survival takes precedence.

    BDW (that’s bakersdaugherwrites) – Or the name of a gospel choir as I remember. Morality plays would be wasted on this lot I think – unless they came with a lot of very graphic violence. I find I even have to dumb down my reading here. Most stuff is just too difficult to take in.

    • doctordi says:

      Actually, Pete, photos are very telling archives of experience too, so you may find the words are percolating back there while the images take centre stage. I think you should follow your instincts on this one as the photos are great!

  8. Grad says:

    I hear an ostrich egg omelette will feed an army. I’d follow that big boy around with a basket if I were you. Keep snapping photos for us.

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