Sunday, December 4, 2005

Chaos, Persecution and Mine Clearance

This past week has been eventful, to say the least. I'll try to make a very long story short. Let's start from last Wednesday:

Woke up and was ill, fever and pain everywhere. I stayed in bed until my employer's daughter got home from school, helped her with homework and waited for the employer to come home. Things have been tense between us lately. We have different thoughts and ideas about things that are important to agree on when you have a more or less depressed 14 year old to take care of. He's focusing on her school results while I try to make her feel better. I have been the only one she talks about everything to and we have gotten very close, which has lead to that her father has gotten jealous (my own choice of word).

So, he got home and first asked if I had had any problems with the police or military. I said no, because I hadn't. Then he asked if I had been persecuted, threatened or assaulted. Then I said no too, because I haven't. He then said that the security police (the men in light blue military uniforms, kalashnikows and evil looks that do what they want with whoever they want) had been to the office and asked things about me, who I am, what I'm doing here and so on. If I hadn't been under the protection of the Red Cross they would guaranteedly bring me in, but since the organization has some kind of immunity, they didn't.

They know who I am, where I go during the days and who I'm hanging out with. I have no idea why they're interested in me. Maybe because I have Sudanese friends (and Sudanese people shouldn't mix with westerners, for God knows what kinda ideas they would get then!) or because I've said something they don't like in the street. Somebody calmed me down and said that they seem to do some random check up on all foreigners, but it's scary anyways. I have the Sudanese version of the KGB tailing me! But on the other hand, maybe I should feel honored. I mean... how many of you have been trailed and bugged in a police state? ; )

After that conversation I got fired. He said that things doesn't work out, which he was absolutely right about, but i regret that I didn't have the time to say "I quit!" before he did. I packed my stuff, got picked up by Haidar and moved over to La Familia. And there I was alone (everyone else in the house was out in the field), without money, no valid visa, no work permit, no stay permit and no work. I wanted to stay, but the only things I had was fever and a ticket to Stockholm. What shall Maria do now?!

I got my thumb out and made a last huge effort, polished my CV and pride and went to the DCA (Danish Church Aid) where, thanks to my dear Lennart, had some contacts that I've previously been too proud to contact. I didn't want to get a job with help from someone from home, but there I was. I met John Shearer, that had to act like my therapist for a while. He contacted the organizations PM who was currently in Nuba but agreed to meet me the next night before he left to someplace else.

I was still a little ill and got a gum inflammation which kept me alert the whole time (thanks for that) and decided that a couple of beers would probably heal me, so again, I went to a UN-party.

Went to DCA to meet the PM, Bob, who (halleluljah!) offered me a short term payed job in the office while the English speaking personell were out of country for christmas. He also asked me to think of if I would be interested in going on Mine Clearence Training. And I was like "OH MY GOOOD! OF COURCE!". I mean, it can't be much more humanitarian to clear mines?

The tooth kept me awake whole night and when morning came i was grumpy and tired, got dumped (well almost) for the first time in my life and took a raksha home to continue being grumpy. I slept a few hours before Björn finally got home from Zanzibar. One more hour without releasing my hysteria and I had... uhm... probably have done something bad.

And now?
Well, I have a room in the house with La Famila, I can afford to pay for it and work for at least another month. My gum is slowly healing, but instead I suspect that I've got a throat infection.
Today I went to the DCA and I'm now waiting for the big OK from Copenhagen so that I can start working. I will not have much to do in the office really. My main task is to teach English to the local staff and help with whatever office duties there is.

Right now everything is a bit crazy and I have mixed feelings about everything. I'm happy that i got the job and can stay for a while longer.

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