Bahai beach

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bahai Beach 71

Bahai Beach 71

Tribute to Sancho Yoda

June 17, 2007

My first meeting with my buddy Sancho was at the airstrip in Bahai. He had come to pick me up and on the first 25 minutes back to the camp I am quite sure he managed only to slip in his name and two – three other words. My random generator was happily producing noise and statements in form and shape as where is the nearest camel shop I need to buy one, or rather two to start a breeding program. If there is no milk available I will buy a cow as I cant drink this phony powder milk. Yoda sat through this rant with am ever increasing smirch on his face. He must have thought finally a like-minded fool has been sent to the desert.

What became clear to me directly was that Sancho was full of quasi-philosophical useless tidbits of information and that every conversation with a doubt ended up in two giggly two year olds (mentally). I was duly named Dr Chewbacca due to my sexy hairstyle and apelike beard and to Strike back I called him Sancho Yoda. Sancho, the sidekick of don Quixote, but perhaps the real main event. Yoda because he looked like a midget about 1000 year old and he had the tendency to spread messages of intense perceived wisdom.

As neither of us is interested in being a hero we considered each other to be the eternal sidekicks. Born to remain in shadow. Despite fluffy beard growth. Schemes to conquer and dominate the world. It was he who introduced me to the greatest tribute to a rock song by Tenacious D.

The highlight of our meandering journey through Chad must have been the night spent underneath a truck watching I love Huckabees. Instead of the overrated stars in the Chadian desert we spent a night looking at the nuts and bolts of truck.
This is a far mightier sight than the Milky Way and the basis of the greatest conversation in our history.

Being a logistician and for that a logistical coordinator of a complex country which went through plenty of human resource gaps means that you are often seen in my eyes as the human waste manager of the project. ‘No one else will do the job, bring it to logistics.’ Despite evacuations, crises, shortage of staff, financial constraints, theft, violence he kept is cool for over a year.

His commitment to Purchase tracking sheets was legendary. For those of you less versed in IRC jargon it is a document showing the physical whereabouts of all purchased items including their administrative status. Every Sunday Yoda spent hours behind a computer slowly scraping and tweaking the system until his department was up to shape and it no longer took 120 days to buy items on average but 13. Given the dearth of available items a formidable task. Whenever an unhappy coordinator or manager would write an e-mail to complain about such and such a cheerful, cheeky e-mail would be received the same day taking away all fear and putting a smile on the face.

For me, being moody having a buddy in the form and shape of an American Idol addicted to Florida Flowery shirts has made a huge difference. Whenever I felt my patience had been tried be would sooth me with his wicked psychobabble.

As I write he is and always will be the person I have missed most when absent.
Where are the nights when he was my neighbor and we could keep awake the entire compound with our schoolchild like giggling?

Sure we will giggle again soon when we meet in Los Angeles. And where does this sidekick live?

Hollywood! As if there is another place in LA.

Being a storyteller means picking up the pen. A lot has happened and I hope to read about his dreams, experiences and life soon.

Thank you Yoda for being you.



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