In the early part of the Battle for Galaa/Sofitt, there wasn’t much cover.  Just open fields with some olive trees and long stretches of road.  In this clip, I’m running perpendicular to the hill and the gunfire is coming from the left.

Sa panahon ng tag-hirap.

Napilitan lang talaga namin magSM kasi di maintindihan ang plano. Ang daming gusto magswimming, yung iba naman, sawa na magswimming. Ang nangyare, nauwi sa SM Molino. Balik Elementary ba? Tapos.. SM Molino na nga lang, wala pang naganap na pagsisine (yun na nga lang yung alam ko na nakakaaliw na gawin sa SM Molino eh?). Wala na daw kasi silang pera. Sabagay, magkakasisihan pa ba? Bakasyon eh. Natural naman yuuuun. Kaya.. Tom’s world, at Quantum nalang. XD

Rise Of The Guardians

Whoa! It was a real tiring yet fun day :))) Tiring kasi, 2 hours ba naman mag ikot ng magikot sa Trinoma at SM North ehh. Fun, coz we watched Rise of the Guardians :> And we knew it! Hirap talaga kapag ang plano hanggang nood lang tas nganga na pagkanuod at kain. HAHA

Iba talaga kapag gusto mo yung pinapanuod pati mga kasama mo. Kahit na tumatanda na maganda at masaya pa din manuod ng Animated Movies XD Nabusog din sa tawa at kwento. Sana maulit ulit. :DDD Nararamdaman ko na ang Christmas. Hope it’ll be a something this year :**


Hehe.. GoPro cameras are awesome.

‘What is Somali poetry like?’

Here is an example of a good Somali poem on a popular plant to chew in Somalia named khat that was recorded by Said S. Samatar:

  1. Anigaa furoo qaadka waa lagu fahmeystaaye;

  2. Filkaaga iyo waayeeladuu kula fariishaye;

  3. Afkana wuu furaa maansaduu kuu fidshaa abid e;

  4. Fagaarihiyo haasaawuhuu aad u fiic yahaye;

  5. Kolkaad hawl faraha saarto buu sii fariid yahaye e;

  6. Hayeeshee hadaan fiirshay waa kula fogaadaaye;

  7. Hadaad maalin oo idil fadhido faydo kuuma leh e;

  8. Fiidkii kolkaad sare kacduu kugu fidaayaaye;

  9. Fakar iyo wuxuu kula galaa faalla aan jirin e;

  10. Markaasaad wax jeer hore fakaday dib ugu fooftaaye;

  11. Ood soo faqdaa waaja aan fari ka noolayn e;

  12. Waxbase hadalku yuu ila fidine waxaan ku faygoogyey;

  13. Kol hadaadan maal fara leh oo fiicanna u haysan;

  14. Asaanad faraq ka soo buuxsaneyn beer ad sii falatay;

  15. Nin faqiirahaw reerka yuu kaa fadqalalaynin.

Now the literal translation won’t be presented because it’s not easy to understand per say; so the intended meaning provided by Samatar will be show below:

  1. When I eat of this khat plant I find it to inspire;

  2. It helps me to take a seat amongst notable peers;

  3. It opens my mouth to speak wisely and to sing verses to the genies of Gabay;

  4. It is good for conversation, better for courting the maids;

  5. And best for laboring hands;

  6. But…it can carry you far, far away…;

  7. And it profits not a man to sit by khat every day;

  8. When you rise up from it in the evening, it creeps through the body, overwhelms the mind;

  9. Infecting you with sorrows of vain ambition;

  10. Then you relive the losses, failures, and broken hopes;

  11. It brings back memories—memories you’d fain forget—memories of lost causes;

  12. My advice, in brief, to him who would have khat;

  13. If you are in want of the withdrawal to guarantee you a good supply of khat;

  14. And you cannot reap a harvest of it in your garden;

  15. Oh, man of modest needs, let not khat unsettle your family

Now mind you some of the translation may not be exactly straight forward, it’s not easy translating Afro-Asiatic idioms and metaphors into English; but you can see there is a message. A lot of Somali poetry has a social message, or even advice like the above poem. The oral history of Somalia is extensive and has more dimensions than that of poetry; but that doesn’t mean poetry is not highly important.


Rebel takes careful aim with AK47 from rooftop.


Artillery hits a hill in the background


We were very very lucky to not have been killed by this.


This rebel died shortly after I took this video.


Wounded machine gunner services his weapon while being bandaged.  Talk about badass.

Going through my GoPro footage

I’ve started combing through my best clips from the Battle of Galaa/Sofitt hill (June 7 2011).  Jeez, after reviewing just a few minutes I’m starting to realize that I’m VERY lucky to be alive.

CNN is getting first crack at these clips.


The first house we took cover behind just a few seconds after a mortar round landed 30-40 meters away (CLOSE!!)