there is a boxing event held here from time to time that unites service members without fail. their common lust for blood and violence leads them to gather in throngs to witness what can only be described as 'boxing.' last night such an event was held, and the area around the ring was packed so tightly that people had to find seating on top of nearby trucks, buildings, and bunkers. being a pioneer in the truest sense of the word, i was the first to embark on the harrowing climb to the top of a bunker, and was soon followed by friends and the omnipresent Ugandan security forces that continue to attempt to take over the base.
the national anthem sung to open the festivities brought tears to my eyes. it wasn't so much a welling up of patriotism as it was sadness for my freshly ruptured ear drums. apparently out of the thousands of troops here, the best singer we have to offer has the vocal range of a dog being neutered without anesthetic. this horrid display of failed yodeling meant only one thing: the event could only get better.
the first fight must not have been very good, as i recall very little of it. the second, however, was quite interesting in the way i imagine special olympics boxing would be if it were held underwater. the contestents' blatant disregard for 'rules' led to a simultaneous disqualification, causing eye-rolls and moans from the thousands of onlookers.
the third fight lasted around 30 seconds, and improved the current weight class champ's record to 5-0. it was a powerful display of precision pugilism, alleviating all need for antiquated alliteration. the fight was stopped by the referee, arguably saving the life and pride of the loser.
i should take a moment to mention the ringside announcer/MC. his cliched and hackneyed lines were repeated at least 5 times each to make sure that everyone in the crowd was certain of his views on things. i have never heard the obvious stated so loudly and annoyingly. his vernacular might have been a good running commentary on a fight between two hobos in a breadline, but was strikingly out of place among the highly literate and erudite members of the armed services.
MC: Oh theyre really throwing punches! theyre punching! theyre throwing punches! theyre throwing punches!
Matty America: are they punching?
MC: theyre attempting to punch each other!
fights 4 and 5 involved members of my company. fight 4 ended quickly, and our man was not victorious. the fifth ended relatively quickly, and our own Iron Mike remained undefeated in 4 bouts. this victory drew large cheers from the crowd, and i did what any boxing fan would after his favorite fighter was finished: i jumped down from my seat and went to get food.
this distraction prohibited me from thinking about the emotional wringer that someone in our chain of command is putting us through. changing departure dates every few hours (and never for the better, mind you) really fucks with your head. three years in this country, and i can hardly bear the last weeks. my cramped tent's walls seem to be closing in, and my days at work feel hours longer than they used to. everyone is getting really uptight about the littlest things, as all of use are worn thin after 11 months of what has turned into a fairly worthless tour.
recap: violence brings people together, someone shoot the harpy, over 2000 views!