Everything posted here is stricktly the opinion of the poster and shall not be taken to be the official position of UNMIS, UNMISS, UN, the Norwegian Armed Forces or any other organisation whatsoever.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

The people you meet...

Sometimes you experience something that makes your jaw hit the floor - like I did yesterday.

It started innocently enough; the BanBat commander invited the other 'wege and me for lunch - on occasion he'll do something like that, either because he wants representatives from the UNMOs for a semi-official function, because he wants some company or simply because he haven't done it in a while*. Yesterday was one of the former, he had invited two ladies from the american Carter Center who are in Yei as Referendum Observers. So naturally during dinner I start inquiring where they are from - being a curious sort and married to an american girl. One of the ladies was from Orlando, but that's not what made my day - the other one? West Virginia, just like my better half. Hearing that, I got more inquisitive - what part of the mountain state? Oh, just a little town no one outside West Virginia have heard off... except me. Which off course made her inquisitive... after all, wouldn't you be if you meet a stranger in darkest Africa who happened to know where you're from?

So off course I came clean and admitted to being married to a West Virginian from the State Capital - where the lady in question had been working until ten years or so ago... and working at the Cultural Center no less. At this point things were getting a little weird... I had to reveal that my inlaws works there, and have been for many a year. And upon hearing my father-in-law's last name... jaws drops.

Lets face it.. how likely is it that you go to a remote corner of Sudan, happens to be near the door when the BanBat Commander wants to invite a couple of UNMOs for lunch, inquires politely about where someone is from and ends up meeting a good friend of your better half's family who were - I was informed - devastated that she and her husband couldn't make our wedding six and a half year ago?

Afterwards I had to call not just my better half, but also both my inlaws, causing jaws to drop in Europe and North America as well... one lunch caused dropped jaws on three continents. Pretty good going for a Monday.

Also, later in the day I ran into three Norwegians when our Security Officer and I went out to have dinner with some of the returning NGOs... which would been making my day if my brain hadn't already been blown.

*) Our BanBat Commander likes entertaining, as I'm sure is obvious from my blogposts.

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