Monday, March 22, 2004

Another Day in Paradise

It seems that things are back to normal.  At least, according to the local population.  From their actions and mannerism, they act like there weren't street wars going on in the capital city just four nights ago.  Sixteen churches were not burnt down...4000 people were not displaced from their homes...600 people were not injured...nope, just another beautiful spring day.  The women are walking around in their "high" fashion, the men sit in the cafes chatting and chain smoking black-market cigarettes.  Everything is as it was except there are no UN vehicles driving the streets (when it used to be out of every 5 vehicles, 2-3 were UN), the main road in front of the HQ and Police HQ is blocked and closed, we have a 5pm curfew within the compound, and there are heavily armed British patrols out on the streets.

I was able to go home briefly on Saturday to gather some clean clothes (I spent three days in the same pair of jeans!)  Smokey was excited to see me but I had to leave him there.  My poor puppy!  Emin is taking good care of him though...taking him for walks and playing with him. 

I really appreciate having a more than financial relationship with my landlord and his fact, they really treat me as one of the family since I arrived.  I remember the first summer I was here, they were always leaving a basket of vegetables from the garden on the stairs for me and Nena (Grandmother) was always giving me stuffed peppers and cabbage salad :)