Mark Povey - Being out of country

Running time
1 min 54 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We used to go down to the airport, we'd leave our weapons behind, leave our helmet and ballistic vest behind, get on the plane, fly to Nairobi, be in civilian clothing, walking around, you know, the normal sounds of life, you know, traffic, walking into a cafe, walking into a bar, walking into a shop, being able to buy a newspaper, being able to just sit down have a coffee.

It was just a bit of normality in your life after however long, you know before we'd been out of country. My job was always in country apart from if I was on business for the contingent, but we had part of the contingent, were actually based in Nairobi. So anybody who was flying into Somalia, or flying out, they were met by the Australians at the airport.

There was a contingent of people in Mombasa, for people who wished to, you could go on R & R to Mombasa. So we had Australians based in Mombasa, so they will get you off and on planes. So it sort of gave you a bit of something to look forward to. I know we were in the military but life became regimented every day we were in country and, you know, you're always aware of what was going on around you.

And then once you got out of country to Nairobi, or to Mombasa, you were allowed to let that veil drop and be a bit more humane, again, a bit more human. But once you got back into country and you put your gear back on, then you know, the mind switched on again and, you know, you went on with with business as usual.

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