|7 February 93
We were issued our tan combats yesterday
afternoon. We have three different types, one of heavy cotton, one
of the same material as our combats and the third a lightweight version of
our combats. We are supposed to trial them, but they gave us only
extra large sizes and they hang off of us. Obviously by the sizes
they gave us, they thought we were all fat REMF's (rear echelon mother
fuckers) like themselves. What can you do?
The REMF's have been filtering off all of the best supplies, keeping
the majority of the beer and good rations for themselves. We are
left with limited supplies and are beginning to resent them for it.
They are here to keep us supplied, but they act as if their sole purpose
is to make themselves more comfortable at our expense.
I have been selected as permanent canteen queen for the week our
platoon is on garrison duty. It is not that bad I guess, sitting in
the canteen watching movies all day. It is better than sitting on
OP, but 10 hours a day is rather long.
8 February 93
Coalition hits Somali faction: Rival
leaders requested attack on Morgan forces - Globe and Mail, 26 Jan
Reading the above headline shows me just how screwed up the situation
is over here. Today in our o'group we were told that General Morgan
was asking for coalition help to repel and expected attack by his rival
Colonel Jess. I was also reading in a Kenyan newspaper a couple of
days ago that people believed General Morgan was, and had been for some
time, hiding out in Northern Kenya. Of course the Kenyan government
denied it, saying it was all rumours.
I pulled another guard duty shift last night after working until
23:20. I also have another shift tonight. That is working out
to 17 plus hours a day and not much sleep, so I told Sgt Veary that I need
a break. I haven't even had time to take a shower since I got back
from Kenya. He went to the WO and it was decided that I would work
the canteen one day on and one day off, switching with Bech.
I got a letter from Sherri yesterday with a picture. God does it
smell good, makes me miss home allot. I can smell it on everything it
We fixed up the tent today by building a porch out of old palettes and
hardening the floor with some excess wash water. For a final touch I
put up a small Canadian flag and we renamed our home "Bob's Country
Bunker" in honour of all the country music the others listen too. If
I'm not careful, I'm going to start liking country.
The generator went down this evening and a bunch
of us gathered around voicing ideas about what could be wrong with it and
then trying to fix it. By far the best comment came from Sgt Mercier
who announced that he thought it worked on batteries. Eventually we
got it fixed after trying just about everything. In the end, it turned out to be just a
clogged fuel line.
9 February 93
It was a nice day. After a two hour shift
last night, I managed to sleep in until eight. We skipped breakfast
and immediatly went to work on the perimeter fence. It only took us
a couple of hours to finish putting the third strand of concertina
up. I spent the rest of the morning helping Bruce make a table for
the tent out of scrap wood from palettes. After a shift on guard
duty I had my first shower since Nairobi. We then had dinner on our
new porch. All we need now is patio lanterns for that final touch.
After dinner Chris broke out pate, red wine and melba toast from a care
package and I brought out the chess set I bought in Nairobi. We sat
at our new table on our new porch playing chess, drinking wine and
snacking on pate. A nice way to spend the evening even if he did
beat me as usual.
Chris went on shift so I played Rick and beat him. It is good for
the ego to win once in awhile. At about nine, the generator went on
the blitz again, so we shut it down and lit lanterns for the night.
10 February 93
I spent the day on canteen duty reading through my Lonely Planet East
Africa guide and dreaming about my two week R & R. Bruce and the rest of
the section spent the day re-enforcing the front bunker. It must have been hard
work under the desert sun.
The generator was on the blitz again, so instead of watching the movie
which is on and off again, I sit watching the light show of tracers flying
over Beled Weyne. It is a beautiful, but deadly display.