Sophia's Peace Work

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Driving to Fishkhaboor - 22 September 2013

I met up with Y, our Flotilla Logistics manager in Erbil, to drive to the riverside town of Fishkhaboor (an Iraqi town on the Syrian-Iraq Border that has been a main crossing point for refugees coming from Syria).  We drove over the Greater Zab River at the town of Kalakchi (a KBA site though it looked dusty and savaged to me, but the country northwest of it, full of rolling, golden hills has a real beauty to it).

Arriving near the Kurdish town of Dohuk (capitol of Dohuk Governorate) we drove through rain showers (the first since last spring???) and then arriving in Dohuk itself, I was amazed at how the city is grown in size ... Our task was to get to the Turkish border crossing just past the town of Zakho (Iraq's northern most town) and meet the truck carrying the boats and equipment and escort them to Fishkhaboor to unload and set up camp.

As I watched the Tarada get jolted over the bumpy roads of Kurdistan, Iraq I started to worry .... I also found all my water quality equipment in a jumble inside, not even packed in the same boxes I had put them in!  I vowed that no one would be allowed to touch them again without my direct supervision.

Eventually we arrived and unloaded the boats ... after the usual 3 hours of dicking around with the folks from the local Pesh Merga base about where our camp and put-in should be .... "No," I said at the first location we were shown, "we can't launch the Tarada off this cliff."

We finally settled on a spot literally under the main Fishkhaboor bridge on a gravel and sand bar (overrun by ants, I might add).  Here we are about 10 km from the Syrian Border but saw little direct evidence of refugees coming across.

I tried to get the camp set up ... we had a mountain of equipment (much of it not needed) and I think I blew the mind of Y, our logistics manager.  "Yes, we are camping here," I said, "And yes, camping means we are sleeping here."

The rest of the team finally arrived in the evening and to my chagrin I found that they had chosen a spot upstream for the camp that was much better but we'd failed to be informed of this.  Ah well.


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