Thursday, February 12, 2009

Emma's War Cows

The infamous Commander Deng was back at the camp the other day (remember, the one who called me a Khawaja (white) Queen?), just back from a session of the Legislature. His arrival also coincided with 2 things: me feeling under the weather, and an impromptu leaving 'do for a friend who was going for 2 weeks to the UK skiing in Switzerland. Bastard. Half a dozen or so people in the party were getting fairly toasted for a Tuesday night, and one of the women caught the eye of Commander Deng. She got up and tipsily invited him to dance for a few awkward songs. It was like watching a scene from Emma's War unfold right before my eyes: tall, dark haired young English woman with an SPLA General. Spooky.

Anyways, I left, went back to my room, while Simba had to stay longer in order to close the bar. Commander Deng had requested his presence at his table (the man's requests are really demands), which he did for a few minutes. Simba then took his leave by saying "I am sorry sir, I would really like to stay but I will be thrown out of the house if I do not finish cooking for my Queen."

Seriously, where did I find this guy?

The response he received was: "these Kjawaja Queens are very funny. Not like our Sudanese Queens. In Sudan, our women build our houses up around us, cook for us, give us a good time, and have our children. And here you are cooking for your Queen. Very funny."

Sounds like those women are not having as great a time as Commander Deng is. Maybe I should ask one of his 5 wives or one of his 21 children for their opinion. Or I could take the 180 cows he offered the owner of the camp I stay in exchange for me and find out for myself. NOT.

As an interesting aside, that SPLA General in Emma's War is now the VP of Southern Sudan and I play touch rugby with his son who is lovely. You should read the book. Quite a fascinating look at the Southern Sudan conflict's entanglement with the humanitarian relieft effort in the '80's and '90's.

1 comment:

M.Lane said...

What a post. Your English lady friend must be crazy. Or merely drunk that night. Or both. Sounds to me like the kind of guy you don't even want to have look at you much less dance with you.

S sounds like quite a man. In many admirable ways.


PS They probably wouldn't let you keep the cows anyhow. Wouldn't the head of your village get them?