I haven’t been back to Europe for nearly two years. A few days before I was due to fly back to England I was asked if I could go to Somalia, for a day trip just over the Kenyan border. “Sure”, I said, “when is it?” I was keen to see as much of Somalia as I could, and I had failed to reach the other side of the border when Chemi and I drove up a few weeks previously.
“The eleventh” came the reply.
“Euh, that’s the day I’m flying back to London.”
“What time is the flight?” asked my editor.
“Not ‘til the evening” I replied.
“It’ll be fine. You’ll be back by the evening. Can you go?”
And so, with a bag packed for five weeks in the UK and in France, I drove to Wilson airport at some un-Godly hour of the morning, and boarded a small charter plane for a visit by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation to Dhobley.
We did our work, I became a convert to the idea of giving money to cattle rather than people - preventing their deaths would save many more lives and is more cost-effective, they tell me - and then flew back to Nairobi. An hour spent in traffic, a spot of writing and editing the pictures, and I just about had time to take a shower before jumping in another taxi for the airport.
The following day, I would be in London, a world away from the conflict and famine of Somalia, and trying to explain everything I have seen over the last two years.