Having committed to a very challenging project and days of labor, we get out and have some fun.  But we quickly realized that was also going to be challenging!  In Somaliland, even a simple field trip required days a planning, letters, permits and a full police escort. Today, we had the opportunity to travel to Laas Geel, home to ancient cave paintings and one of only two tourist attractions in the area.  Driven by our Somali fixer and site foreman, Ishmael, the six of us started off on the bumping camel infested journey into the veldt.  We were required to rent a separate truck for guards, just in case one of their AK-47s accidentally went off, and had a late start because the police commissioner couldn’t issue our travel permit on time.  It was cold and raining…  It was January after all, 64 degrees and misty, so the weather prevented him from coming to his office on time. Though a long ride, we made the best of it, counting roadside camels and singing 80’s hits… including “Africa” by Toto.  We passed the presidential convoy in route and made it smoothly though the checkpoints.  The caves and vista views were incredible and very well worth the trip.  It was humbling to see remnants of human life dating back over 10K years in its natural environment.  A fun break and chance to see more of a place that doesn’t exist.   Upon return, when we stopped back at the worksite one of the contractors had a face mask on because of the cold.  The rest of the crew refused to work under such harsh conditions and were not coming in today.  They’d last 10 minutes in Buffalo!

Ancient cave art.
It was humbling to see the remnants of human life from thousands of years ago!