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A part dozen little boys in threadbare outfits throw rocks at a whimpering piebald mutt, bone skinny and silly, which regardless of the stoning attempts to come back to their arrant friendship. contained in the headquarters, there are faces i haven't but seen—European, Somali, and darker sub-Saharan participants of this humanitarian attempt. Joel is the French-speaking Belgian, a container-ship captain who's at the moment operating the port. he'll be leaving inside of an afternoon or , and whereas I manage the supply base, i'm additionally to take over the port until eventually he returns. Mwalimo, the Tanzanian procurement officer, is keeper of the keys—that is, he fuels us, feeds us, and, i'm informed, if helpful will equipment us out with peacekeeper wrestle helmets. there are many random Somalis: drivers, cleaners, secretaries, and chefs who maintain the compound working. regardless of being held hostage, surrounded via Technicals and heavy guns and possibly stored unsleeping all evening, not one of the “internationals” turns out the more serious for put on. No indicators of exhaustion, no brief tempers: those everyone is going approximately their jobs as though it's only one other traditional day on the place of work. I signal my existence away for a few bottles of consuming water from the kitchen, the price of which i'm instructed might be deducted from my paycheck. Andrew and that i take our locations contained in the Land Rover for the journey to the airport to select up the boat. The unstated rule is that we're consistently to be sandwiched among loaded weapons. by no means, it sort of feels, will it's attainable to snatch a cooling window seat. the automobile doesn’t circulation quite a lot of meters contained in the castle earlier than it truly is stopped on the metal doorways and we're informed that the compound once more is surrounded by means of troops and Technicals whose heavy weapons are aimed toward the gate. The military has orders to not allow us to in or out. The contract has collapsed. The ruckus at the different aspect of the wall is obviously audible; it really is doubtful who's doing the entire shouting—I suspect the defense force and the locals are yelling at our guards. And for what function? difficult to allow them to in to kill us? probably it used to be one such incident in one other period that adorned the interior construction with bullets. regardless of the garbled offended sounds of no matter what is occurring in the market, it continues to be peaceable within. No gunfire but. Gunfire seems to be the traditional to gauge the strain. whereas there regularly appears to be like capturing, day and evening, far away gunfire, not less than, now not turns out to make a lot noise. outdoor the automobile, Harun, our younger motive force, leans opposed to his door, chewing a stick of mswaki, a sprig from the toothbrush bush. Western-style toothbrushes and toothpaste aren't chanced on right here, and this is often the conventional means of preserving tooth fresh. it's very powerful. “You captain of port? ” he asks. “For some time. You my driving force? ” “Shua, i'm your driving force now, Captain. ” Harun’s smile is unaffected and pleased. “Sure? ” i'm really not rather yes I obtained the notice correct. “Shua, Captain. ” Harun shakes my hand within the East African culture: the palm, then the thumb, then the palm; it really is way more expressive than our Western handshake.