Somalia Medal The Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia
A Soldier's Journals
Monday, January 22, 2018  

Somalia '93




 

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 23rd.

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 truth?

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 much.

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 includes breakfast.

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 them tonight.

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 Mogadishu.

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 business.

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 alone.

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

Elephants 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

Lion 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.

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