Wednesday, January 25, Navy Seals rescued American and Danish aid workers from Galkayo, Somalia. The raid was successful in rescuing the two foreigners, who were then flown to the US embassy in Djibouti.
I would love to sit down with Jessica, the rescued worker, and ask her about her work, her kidnapping, her hostage experience. I don’t want to read about it in a book, later, when she capitalizes on the events. I want to see her face and hear her voice. Actually, I’d like to sit down with anyone who has ever worked in Somalia and listen to them. It is a strange, intriguing, and brilliant (sometimes) small group of people.
In one article I read, someone said that Jessica could not talk about Africa without getting tears in her eyes. Presumably, he meant she was moved with compassion, but I wonder if there isn’t also a bit of “Africa drives me so crazy, I could cry!” And right there is the bizarre part of living in the Horn of Africa. You love it and you hate it. But you can’t leave it.
I told Tom about the Navy Seal raid and we both laughed.
Six pirates were captured, nine Somalis were killed.
And we laughed.
I was disturbed by this immediate and similar reaction by both of us. I kept thinking about it throughout the day yesterday and sat down last night to journal about it, hoping that through writing, I would come to some kind of understanding.
Here is part of what I wrote:
Why do we laugh? It could have been us. Either of the aid workers could have been killed. There is nothing humorous about pirates, kidnappings, or the deaths of anyone. Maybe we laugh because we know how uneven the odds are.
Navy Seals versus Somali pirates.
The Somalis were probably high on khat, crazy and unpredictable and armed with heavy weapons, but in comparison with Navy Seals…laughable. Sort of like Yoda versus Gollum. Gollum might take your finger off, but there is no doubt about the outcome.
Plus, sometimes, laughing is the only way to react to what happens in the Horn. But, picture it for a moment. Yoda versus Gollum.