Nine Days in Kenya
|11 May 93
It is 16h50 and I have just left Beled
Weyne for the last time. I am flying to Nairobi via Mogadishu for a
nine day leave. The last few days have been spent preparing to leave. The rest of the Commando is driving down to
Mogadishu on the 13th. This morning we took up all of the electrical
wiring , took the thorn bushes off the wire and took down the tents. The
carrier is packed and ready to go. We will be back in Canada by the
It is kind of strange leaving, but it
really hasn't hit me yet that I will not be coming back. I am
the only one from the Commando going on leave, so it is a bit different
than being part of the whole unit tearing down and pulling out.
Reading the latest newspaper articles, I wonder what I will find when I
get home. We are being described as murderers and executioners. Every mistake
we made is being blown out of proportion and we are being condemned
for it. I don't know what to expect, will my friends and family believe these
things that the papers are telling them? Will their ears still be open to the
I worry about more than just my family,
what will the public as a whole believe. It is sickening yet
enlightening to watch the politicians sacrifice us for their own political
gains. I think it says allot about human nature and about the people
that run our country. Obviously they do not do it out of some greater sense
of duty like we do, but for personal gain and power. I always suspected as
I'm finally in Nairobi. It's midnight and I'm sitting
on my bed, the fan above my head beating out its rythmic tune. I
couldn't find a cheap room this late so I ended up staying at the Oriental
Palace for the night. It is expensive, but at least it is close to
the Modern Green bar and the cheap hotels in the area which I will move to
in the morning.
I went out looking for Jeff and Susan tonight at the Green
and the Kia. The Kia was closed down, so I sat at the Green drinking
and talking to the girls.
12 May 93
I beat foot out of the expensive Oriental Palace
this morning and moved into the Hotel Africana which costs less than $10 a
night. The hot water even works! It is a spartan room
overlooking the street. It is very basic, but comfortable and
I went to the Air India office and the Indian Embassy this
morning. I can get a visa by tomorrow, but I need a Kenyan re-entry
stamp too. I cannot get that quickly since there is nothing in my
passport that even indicates that I entered Kenya. This has thrown
my tight schedule off an I won't be able to make it to India now.
I went to visit Chris's friend that he bought some jewellery off
of. He is very nice and interesting to talk to. I sat in his
shop all afternoon drinking tea and talking about everything. I
ended up buying some silver chains for my Coptic crosses and three Tuareg
crosses from Mali.
I ran into Evans, then met up with Hebert and his Kenyan
girlfriend. We spent the afternoon together and I am going to meet
13 May 93
Last night at 8:30 I met up with Johnny and Hebert
at the Boulevard Hotel. I was already drunk from a bottle of Villa
Rossini, a South African white wine that I was drinking in my room.
We went to the Simba Saloon at the Carnivore. It was white woman
night and the place was hopping. I found it to be too much like
North America, so after a beer, I was bored and left for the Florida 2000 with Hebert.
I ran into Chris's girlfriend from Mombasa and hired
her to keep the other girls off of me so that I could drink in
peace. Then later in the evening I declined her services and slipped
back to my hotel.
Today was pretty much a write-off. I had promised Johnny that I
would take care of two packages for him since he had to return to
Somalia. The packages were delayed and did not arrive until
1:30. It was then that I realized what I had gotten myself
into. The packages turned out to be two large crates weighing more
than a hundred pounds each. I managed to get them to the military
postal clerk knowing full well they would not be accepted. I left
them there though, they are going to try and get them as far a
I went for a late lunch at the Dhaba restaurant and had an all you can
eat vegetarian spread. I then went back to the Intercontinental to
arrange for a military flight down to Mombasa tomorrow. I checked on
Johnny's packages again, then headed to the local theater to catch a
flick. The movie was so bad that I have already forgotten it's name,
something from India. I ended up walking out half way through.
I headed back to the hotel, showered, got dressed, packed, then
discovered that I was too tired to go out tonight. I have to get up
at six for my flight, so I stay in tonight to read and write.
15 May 93
Yesterday I caught a flight to Mombasa and was
there by 10:30. It was pouring rain. I got a room at the Nyali Fisherman's
Inn and headed downtown. I met Howard, Phil, Oakerlund, and
Henderson for lunch at the Hard Rock. After eating we got into a
game of quarters and proceeded to get obliterated. Eventually we
moved down to the Istanbul, an open air bar in the middle of the
city. Here the rules for quarters got ever more drunkenly daring. Someone decided that everyone had to
get a blow job or a hand job at the table before leaving.
Luckily I met Nancy, so I sat there drinking, getting a hand job under
the table, looking across the table at Phil's strange smile as he did the
same. Eventually we dispersed and I went back to Nancy's place so
she could get ready to go out for the night.
Her place is a mud and coral hut half way between Mombasa and the
reef. I sat talking to her family in a dark room lite by only one
flame while she changed. I had to take a piss, so she led me through
down alleys to a neighbors and knocked on their door. They kindly
led me to a back room with a hole in the floor where I did my
Afterward we went outside and had some coffee from a man sitting beside
the road with a pot and a small fire. We then rode the Matatus into
town. Thus began our night at Toyz. We danced and drank for
hours. By ten I had decided that I was tired and wanted to spend the
night with her. She went off to tell her friend that she was leaving
and through the drunken haze I came to my senses long enough to leave
This morning I bartered for a cheap room at the Reef hotel and moved to
be closer to the others. Since I am heading back to Canada soon, I
spent the day buying gifts for everyone.
16 May 93
This morning I went for a dive, then met up with
Graham. We went over to the Bamburi for lunch and rented jet
skis. The wind and the waves were up, so we had a great time as the
safety boat chased us all over. The waves were highest above the
shallow reef, so we spent most of our time there ignoring the screams of
the safety boat to get away from the dangerous coral.
18 May 93
I went on safari to Tsavo East yesterday. We
left the hotel at around five and got to the park by around seven.
As soon as we left the highway we started seeing wildlife, zebras,
warthogs, gazelles, etc. Further into the park we found a couple of
lion cubs cowering under a bush. We couldn't see the mother, but we knew
she was close, so we moved on.
We found herds of elephants and a pride of lions sleeping in the shade
of a tree. We played with baboons, watched hippos and
ostriches, and followed herds of antelope. We stopped at the Voi
Safari Lodge for lunch nestled on the side of a small mountain. From
its deck we watched giraffes graze and elephants play in a mud hole.
We spent the afternoon driving back out of the park and back to
Mombasa. On the way we came too close to a young elephant and its
mother charged at us narrowly missing.
Upon returning to the hotel, I discovered that the Commando would be
going back to Canada a day earlier and I was manifested to fly back to
Mogadishu today. This was a problem because my uniform was still in
Nairobi. A quick call to WO Poirier and my uniform was on the plane
waiting for me. I didn't want to leave Kenya so early, but I also
didn't want to miss the flight to Canada.