Thai version

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Club

November, 1986 Mogadishu, Somalia. While working at the office we have several Somalia’s come and ask for work. They always come up to you and say brother I need a job. Then they say you owe me a job. I have a surveyor helping me and two helpers for him. We are keep busy most of the time. When that we are not busy doing survey we also do the receiving and the recording of the materials as they are used. We do anything that is needs to be done the project. I had completed a topographic map with elevations every ½ meter (50 centimeters). We have established a control line at the front of the project in the middle of the project and at the back of the project.

One of the office engineers wants to borrow one of my survey helpers to get some measurements and do other work in the field on changes coming up. Also to gather information to send back to the head office some information that they requested. Since what we are doing in the field only requires two people I am happy to have one of the survey helpers help him. When I tell the survey worker he will be working with the office engineer for two or three days he refuses. I explain to him that he will get the same amount of money working with the office engineer as working with me. He still refuses to work for him. So I assign the other survey helper to work with the office engineer and he has no problem working with him. Then the problem survey helper refuses to work with the surveyor like he has been doing before. I explain to him if he refuses to work I have no choose but to let him go. He still refuses to work. So I have no choose but to let him go. We pay him extra money that he is not entitled to so that their will not be any problem. So at noon he is paid off and told to leave the project. He wonders off and we expect that we have seen the last of him.

We work till 5:00 and I am in my office working alone. I have a desk that faces to the open office area. Then behind this is my drawing table that faces the wall. I am working at the drawing table, facing the wall and it almost 4:00. I hear a noise at the door and turn around just quick enough to see the Somalia that we fired at noon charging at me with a club he had made. It is made from an two by four which he has drove 16 penny nail through both sides of the 4 by part of the two by four. I have just enough time to grab and raise the chair to have the club just miss me and strike the drawing table sticking into it. Without his weapon he is a coward and chooses to run and not fight one on one. I am unable to catch him as he gets through the door. However the office engineer that he refused to work for catches him. He drags him back to the office and he tries to run away again so we have no choose but to tie him up till we can get him taken to the police headquarters.

Since the police has no cars they ask us to bring him down to their police station. We load him into the Pajaro and take him to the police station. He is charged with attempted murder. We leave with the felling that he will get a prison term for trying to kill me.

After a couple of weeks I am summoned to the trial. I thought I would have to go tell what happen at the trial. When that we go to the trial they do not have any judges or jury like I am familiar with. They have four older women setting behind a table in a dirty room down town. They bring in the man that tried to kill me. They ask me to confirm that this is the man that tried to kill me. I confirm this is the man that tried to kill me with the club that we brought to court, to the women. He had worked with us for about 6 months. That is all they ask me. They confirm with him that he tried to kill me. Then the language is all switched to Somalia which we cannot understand. After a short session we are told to leave. We never hear any more officially from the court. The mans father latter comes to the site and ask us to drop charges against his son. We are afraid that he may latter kill somebody else so we do not want to do this. That is the last we officially hear about this indecent. We are told unofficially that the man is sent upcountry till that we leave Somalia. Then he can return to Mogadishu.

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