My videokamera

Probeer die ou man agter op die KLR voor te stel / Try and imagine the picture of this old man on the KLR

In die chief se hut / In the hut of the chief

(English below)

Ek het Maandagoggend baie vroeg opgestaan om terug na die padblokkade te ry. Buite het dit sag gereën. Die berge was toe onder ‘n wolklaag.

By die blokkade was daar nog geen spoor van my kamera nie. Die polisie en doeane het my ‘n stoel aangebied, en daar het ons gesit en wag in die reën. Niks het gebeur nie, en die wag het aangehou.

Ek is later na die chief se hut toe. Daar het ‘n jong meisie deeg met ‘n coke botteltjie uitgerol en dan chapati’s gebak. Ek het twee chapati’s en ‘n koppie soet chai gekry. En gewag. Die meeste het met stokkies in hul mond gesit. Hulle gebruik dit om hul tande mee skoon te maak. Party het daaraan gekou. Ander het teen die tande daarmee geskuur om dit skoon te kry. ‘n Paar het gesit en chat blare gekou.

Ek het besluit dat 12uur die spertyd was. Het ek teen daardie tyd nie die kameras terug nie, gaan ek ry.

Skielik het die polisie my kom haal. Die man met die kamera was oppad!

‘n Bus het gestop en ‘n jong man het uitgeklim. Dit was nie die kameraman nie maar sy verteenwoordiger. Hy het die boodskap gebring dat die jong man as “vindersloon” 4 000 Birr wil hê. Dis ongeveer 300 US $. Ek het hom hel toe gestuur en toe sommer ‘n foto van hom geneem.Hy wou eers keer maar ek het sy arm weggedruk en ‘n goeie foto gekry.

Dit was 11uur. Ek het op my fiets geklim en gesê dat ek terugry dorp toe om die foto op die internet te gaan sit om vir die wêreld te wys hoe lyk Ethiopië se diewe en bedrieërs. Die chief wou weer saam opklim maar ek het hom gekeer. Geen saamry vir hom die keer tot ek nie die kamera gehad het nie.

By die hotelletjie het ek my rekenaar aangesit en die foto begin voorberei om op die blog te laai. Toe begin die drama. Op dieselfde tydstip was twee politici by die hotel om tee te drink. Hulle het van my penarie gehoor. Hulle het hand en mond belowe hulle ry dadelik uit na die padblokkade. Die een het ‘n foto met sy selfoon van die foto van die jongman wat as verteenwoordiger van die dief opgetree het, geneem. Die skare mense om my en die twee parlementslede het aangegroei. Almal het begin opgewerk geraak oor die jongman wat hul land se naam weggegooi het.

Toe hou ‘n motoroptog voor die hotelletjie stil. Uit ‘n gekaapte taxi spring die chief soos ‘n jong bokram. Uit ‘n volgende taxi klim vier polisiemanne met AK’s, uit nog ‘n taxi twee van die doeanebeamptes. By hulle was twee jong manne. Een was die verteenwoordiger. Triomfantelik het hulle aangestap gekom. Die een polisieman het sy hand opgelig. En in sy hand was my videosak met videokamera!!!

Almal het gelag en fluit en politici het die polisie omhels en die chief het my omhels met sy tandekoustokkie steeds in sy mond, en die doeane het die hotelbestuurder omhels. Om te kan sien dat die videokamera nog werk, moes ek toe die hele groep eers afneem.

Ek het dus na 24 uur my kamera teruggehad. Dit was nie die moeite werd om ‘n klag te lê nie. Vir ‘n saak is ‘n bewysstuk nodig. Die bewysstuk was die kamera, en ek wou weg oor die grens Kenia toe.

Die hele storie was vir my net weereens ‘n bewys dat daar baie goeie polisie in Afrika is, maar dat ongelukkig net die korruptes die nuus haal.

Die keer was Ethiopië ‘n baie positiewe ervaring vir my gewees, en het ek die mense en my ervarings diep in my hart gebêre.

Wat het ek uit alles geleer? Moenie ‘n chief agter op die motorfiets laai nie. Sy tandestokkie het my regterskouer vol kolle deur die t-hemp gesteek!

English

On Monday morning I got up very early to go back to the road block. It was raining and the mountains were covered by a thick layer of clouds.

At the road block there was still no sign of my camera or the thief. They offered me a chair, so I sat with the policemen in the rain and waited. And waited.

I later went to the hut of the chief. There was a small fire burning and a young girl was rolling out dough using a bottle of coke. In a pan she then made chapati’s. I got two to eat and a cup of sweet chai tea. There were more people in the hut. Most of them had sticks sticking out of their mouths. Some were chewing it, others were cleaning their teeth with it. Some sat and were chewing chat leaves.

I decided that 12 o’clock was cut-off time. I then had to leave, with or without camera.

Then the police came to fetch me. Excitement was in the air. The young man was on his way to the village and he was bringing the camera.

A bus stopped and a young man got out. It was not the “finder” of the camera, but his representative. He came with a message. The “finder” wanted 4 000 Birr as “reward” before he was prepared to give back the camera. That was about 300 US $. I sent the messenger straight to hell and took a photograph of him. He tried to stop me but I managed to get a good shot of his face.

It was then 11 o’clock. I got back onto the KLR and told the police that I was going back to town to upload the photograp onto the internet to show the world the face of the thieves and thugs of Ethiopia. The chief tried to get back onto the KLR but I stopped him. No more rides on the bike as long as I didn’t have my video camera back.

At the small hotel I got out my laptop and stated to prepare the photograph to upload it onto the blog. At the same time there were two politicians at the hotel who stopped to have tea. They heard from the manager about my problem and came over to hear the story first hand. They were quite upset and promised to go to the road block to solve the problem. The one even took a photograph with his cell phone of the photograph of the representative. The mob around us got bigger and increasingly agitated about the young man that was busy ruining the image of their country.

Then a whole convoy of hijacked taxi’s stopped in front of the hotel. From the first taxi the chief got out, smiling. From the second one 4 policemen with their AK’s. From the third taxi two of the custom officials and two young men. The whole entourage came smiling towards us, and then I saw my video bag, held up in the air by the one policeman.

Everyone started cheering and shouting and the politicians embraced the policemen and the hotel manager embraced the custom officials and the chief embraced me with his chewing stick still in his mouth. To see that the camera was still working the crowd demanded that I had to film the whole occassion, which I did, with a smile.

After being without my video camera for 24 hours I got it back. It was not worth it laying a charge as the court would need evidence, and I wanted to disappear over the border to Kenya with the evidence.

Again it was proved wrong that the police and custom officials in Africa are all corrupt. Those guys at the road block were brilliant! Unfortunately we read only about the bad ones.

This time Ethiopia was one of the highlights of my trip, and I will treasure many special memories and people in my heart.

What was the lesson to be learned? Never take a chief with his chewing stick with on the bike. My right shoulder still hurts of all the pricks I got through my t-shirt from the stick sticking out of his mouth!

About Lodie

Africa, Africa, Africa!
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3 Responses to My videokamera

  1. Wedervarings en Ondervindings!! Jys RYK daaraan Lodie . . veel ryker nou!! Lekker ry!
    Emmanuel!

  2. Gerda Lombard says:

    Nou het ek alles gehoor en gelees! Ek het darem lekker gelag ook vir jou vertellinge! Die berig in Dinsdag se Burger was weereens baie goed. Veilig ry.

  3. Suzanne says:

    vandag se inskrywing is skreeusnaaks! ons het dit baie geniet!

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