Rumble at the Consulate ’07

We don’t need a reason to party in Juba: For us expats, all we do is work hard, maybe run a hash or play some touch rugby and drink.

Well, except for some NGOs. . .they do that without all the work.


However there’s two types of parties that really prevail: birthdays and going aways.

Birthdays are fun and all, but a going away party is especially fun. Everyone is excited and a little jealous of the person departing. Regardless, we go cause we get a little taste of freedom; someone’s going home or on vacation and to stand next to them is to feel that for yourself.

This time it was MetalHead’s time to leave, and he threw the party at the US consulate compound. MetalHead was our security expert, Frappy’s replacement. A former street cop from The States, he’d worked security in Iraq, Afghanistan, and lived in Peru with his wife. He was a downright fun despite Five-O status. Not like Superbad fun cop, but hey, we don’t have any McLovins here.

The US consulate compound is colloquially called The Secret Garden. Landscaping, tennis courts, burgers and fries, hot showers, a decked out gym, a swimming pool, and big LCD TVs. Going there is forgetting one is in Juba.

We had set up to play some beer pong, and there was a great turn out. Everyone was having a great time, and everyone was cool. But, then again, they were all MetalHead’s friends. We had a blast. But then people started getting tossed in the pool. It was Buckshot who pushed me in. As I started to topple, I called out, ‘iPod iPod iPod iPod iPod!”

But it was too late.

My iPod and camera were submerged and unresponsive.

I saw Buckshot and he calmly left the pool area. I hoisted myself out of the and chased him down.

Now, buckshot ain’t exactly a small guy. He’s probably 6’2″ despite claims of 6’4″ and at least an eighth of an imperial ton. I’m not a small man by any means, chasing after Buckshot was probably against my better judgement. He was pretty fast for a monster of a human being.

When I caught up with him, however, I was able to tackle him down. I was also surprised at how far his sandals ended up away from us.

We tussled about on the ground for a little, but I eventually pinned him. I wasn’t trying to kill him, but hell, years of ground fighting training and it becomes second nature.

He was not happy about it. The fact that I had just been thrown in a pool meant all the dust we kicked up began to stick to me and become mud.

And there was a lot of dust.

It must have been quite a sight.

Luckily PopNLock and KCQ were around pull us apart.

Take everything away from me, if I got my passport, my guitar and my gadgets, I’ll be alright. Camera, iPod, Laptop, all gone. I was one pissed off Geek. But still, I really shouldn’t’ve resorted to violence. Buckshot flipped his lid. I was way outta line. Not gonna lie.

PopNLock and KCQ are all, “it’s between mates, it’s good boys, it’s good, shake hands.” Buckshot was not about to shake hands and reverts to a southern drawl, and take shirt shirt off.

I consider the headline: Two American Expatriates were exiled from Sudan after starting a fist fight at the US consulate.

If security got involved we would’ve been taken to jail immediately. The locals, understandably so, don’t take well to fighting. It would’ve been bad situation.

Hearing the voice of SaBumNim in my head, I felt immediately ashamed for instigating something so stupid with a close friend. So I walked away, grabbed a hot shower in my clothes and found a ride back to my camp.

I woke up in the morning and the monster of the night before reared it’s head above the lake of my mind’s memory. As I arrived at the office I knew word had already gotten around, but I didn’t say anything.

That night, we were going to watch the England-South Africa world cup match at Logali House. Raleigh gives me a ride and says, “we gotta pick up Buckshot first,” and gives me a look.

Buckshot’s a damn good friend, and one hell of a human being. How many people do you know would move to Sudan on your word after not seeing you for two years? He’s the kind of guy who lives to make everyone around him happy; it’s what makes him such a damn good hospitality professional. He’s a lazy mofo, but hey: no one’s perfect.

Buckshot gets in the car same as always, “what uuuuuuup.”

When we arrive to watch Rugby, Raleigh walks on ahead with some clients.

I look at Buckshot. “Are we cool?”

He pushes me, “Fuck you”

Then he grinned.

We both started laughing.

We started walking up to the gate and he shakes his head. “Of course, bro. We always cool.”


One Response to Rumble at the Consulate ’07

  1. Portia says:

    Joe, you’re too much. I guess there isn’t a Mac geek out there that could help you to revive your drowned ipod. Oh the perils posed to those spiffy, little MP3 players by consulate pools and Haitian orphans…

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