This is a video that Shawn Willis and I made while out in Dadaab. We are really pleased with the way that it turned out and the way in which it explains what the various NGOs do out in Dadaab, the challenges they face, and how partnering with FilmAid has helped them communicate with the large and diverse refugee population.
It’s our last weekend in Dadaab and we’re having a going-away party. Usually people buy a few goats for grilling, but being the proud Americans that we are, Shawn and I did something unprecedented here in the humanitarian community: we bought a cow. Around $200 gets you a whole cow, slaughtering, butchering, and grilling services. Above is the flier we’ve been hanging around for the event, and based solely on the reaction to that, we are thinking we’ll have a pretty good turnout.
P.S. We watched the cow, which we named Ray, get slaughtered. Not pretty, but I’ll spare you the details.
After shooting a PTC segment for a Cholera prevention video we’re producing with the refugees in Dadaab, I decided to take a crack at speaking the Somali language (with the help of our Cholera script, of course). I think you’ll agree I’m pretty good, especiallyunder the tutelage of my Somali friends.
Oh, it was just another Saturday night. Beers, music, flirting with the half-English/half-Egyptian girl from International Medical Corps, and, oh yeah, there’s three goat heads cookin’ on the grill. Look, they’re smiling, so they must be okay with their fate. Shawn and I have eaten a lot of goat these past few weeks, and even partaken of the intestines, but we passed on the head, the cheek meat of which is apparently pretty tasty.
P.S. We’ve been told eating the testicles of the goat is an aphrodisiac. That’s the first time I’ve been told that eating balls is an aphrodisiac. I hope it’s the last time.
NOT FOR THE VEEGANS AT HEART
This lovely delicacy was being served last night at the bar. Just another reminder of the local mantra…It’s not a party without a goat.
This is what it’s like riding between the refugee camps in Dadaab, which requires armed escorts that lead and trail each convoy to protect us from bandits (or “shifters,” as my Aussie colleague likes to call them). We do this about 4 times a day, and our driver, Sala, is pretty badass. He usually goes about 50 mph, but the other day he was really channeling his inner Nic Cage, and got us up above 60. These are pretty fast speeds when traveling on uneven sand.
We’re doing a video about the challenges of information dissemination between the various organization in Dadaab and the refugee community and how FilmAid is uniquely able to help in that struggle by producing informative videos that can convey life-saving knowledge on a large scale in a a variety of languages.
Saturday was spent drowning in acronyms and interviewing numerous reps from a variety of NGOs here at the camp. Above are some photos I took along the way. The first two are on the outskirts of Dagahaley camp, which is known as Bula Bakti or “place of the corpses.” This is where the refugees have to wait for several weeks before they are processed through the system. The security here is very ineffective, and it is a frequent occurrence to wake up and find a tent destroyed and a woman inside who has been raped in the night. The second two are at the MSF (Doctors Without Borders) medical center, also in Dagahaley, in the malnutrition ward.
More pictures from Dadaab. This time they’re from the town of Dadaab itself, which basically is one block in length with a variety of makeshift structures that offer goods of all sorts.
I’ve found I have a hard time differentiating between these people’s expressions of excitement and agitation. In the picture with the group of women, I thought they were getting up because they were happy I was taking their picture, but when they started throwing sand and yelling at me, I began to get their point.
Really the theme of 75% of these pictures is women being angry at or fleeing from me, which is really the theme for 100% of my actual life.