Wednesday, October 07, 2009

If Monty Python had known any aid workers...

Four recently retired aid workers sitting together in Gypsy bar in Nairobi. "Do me" by P-Square being played in the background while they drink Tusker beer.

MSF worker (Francoise): Ahh. Very passable, this, very passable.

UNHCR worker (Lesley): Nothing like a good glass of Tusker, eh Jeff?

Oxfam worker (Jeff): You're right there, Lesley.

WFP worker (Maria): Who'd of thought we'd one day all be sitting here drinking Tusker?

Francoise: Yeah. Back in Somalia, we were grateful just to have a cup of water.

Lesley: A cup of dirty water.

Maria: Scooped out of a toilet.

Francoise: In a filthy, cracked cup.

Jeff: Full of cholera.

Maria: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of old socks.

Francoise: The best WE could manage was to jam a straw made out of goat bones into a camel’s hump and suck really hard.

Jeff: But you know, we were happy, even though life was so hard.

Francoise: Aye. Because we were saving lives. My old Dad used to say to me: "Saving lives is more important than having a sit-down toilet.”

Maria: He’s right. I was happier in Darfur even though we used to live in tiny little concrete house with holes in the roof.

Lesley: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! In Goma, we used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

Jeff: You were lucky to have a ROOM! In Liberia, we used to have to live in a corridor!

Francoise: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of living in a corridor! It would’ve been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank in Mogadishu. We got woken up every morning by having goat innards thrown over us! House!? Hmph.

Maria: Well, when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpaulin, but it was a house to US.

Lesley: The rebels evicted us from our hole in the ground; we had to go and live in Lake Kivu!

Jeff: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

Francoise: Cardboard box?

Jeff: Yes

Francoise: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat some stale rice, go work in the hospital saving lives for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, al-Shabaab would give us forty lashes and makes us say thank you!

Lesley: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in the morning, eat a handful of cold beans, go to work at the refugee camp every day for only 5,000 euros a month tax free, come home, and the CNDP would beat us around the head and neck with broken bottles and then rape us.

Jeff: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the wounded clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of uncooked maize, worked twenty-four hours a day at the food distribution point for only 4,000 euros a month tax free. When we got home, the rebels would kidnap us, tie us blindfolded to radiators then cut our hands off.

Maria: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold sand soaked in camel piss, work twenty-nine hours a day in the camp, and when we got home, the Janjaweed would kill us and dance about on our graves singing. And we only got paid 3,000 euros a month tax free.

Francoise: Only 3,000 euros a month? Now that is hardship.

ALL: Yup, yup

Shamelessly stolen from Monty Python and then monkeyed with. Click here for the original sketch

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