|Private R.J Nyangulu reporting for duty.|
I went to war and came back alive...just!
On arrival we got a safety briefing about the uniform, weapons and general do's and don't. Then it was get into the gear time; in this case a chest padding, a helmet / goggles set and black overalls(which I must say we looked quite fetching in and may just start a new fashion trend!)
|Post war pose...|
We played two games, each game was divided into two lots of six minutes each (I mean this felt like a lifetime!). The first game's objective was to secure some huts before the enemy. I was shot on my left arm within the first 30 seconds of the first game (Ouch! is an understatement!!!) and had to sit it out as that counts as being dead. Watching the other team from the sidelines I knew we were in trouble! And that there was nothing for it than to just go for it and go mental! (Yes me! So I thought to myself, 'there goes my manicure!' But these guys cant get away with this!) In the second part of the game I was back in. As so as the Games Marshall said start, I ran for the nearest hut, half dived in as gun shot started ringing all around me and low and behold I was the first one there! Hut secured the second part of the task was to defend it for the rest of the six minutes. This was no easy feat. There were stray paint-ball pullets flying everywhere! Footsteps pounding the ground outside to the point of shaking the foundations of the hut, almost as an attempt to shake me out of the corner I had taken cover in. I held my ground for precisely five minutes and fifty-five seconds before a shower of bullets rained into the hut like hail stones and smashed against my shins, arms and chest...I was surely dead! And so close, how, where did they come from, I was stunned with disbelief! They had got me so close to the end!?! I was vexed!
|This is me, armed and vexed!|
The worst part of the day was the pain those tiny little orange balls of paint really inflict on you! They are deadly! And if you are hit in a place that is not heavily padded, you could seriously get hurt! This guy is a good example of that; he got hit in the neck and that which looks like a passable gun shot would occurred due to a paint-ball. So when I say I was hit twelve times and it RRRREEEAAAALLLLLLLLLYYYYY hurt! You have to believe me, seriously. I still feel the pain now just thinking about it as I type this...it was insane!
When the games were over, we sat down over lunch discussing how we could have done things differently. How the lack of unity in our team had led to our downfall. Being so many different groups lumped together at the last minute we were unable to elect a leader, develop a strategy or even agree on a single course of action. The scriptures are true when they say that 'a house divided against itself cannot stand'. We also talked about how this experience had opened our eyes to the realities of warfare. We imagined if our pain-ball wounds had been real battle related wounds, how many limbs we would have lost that day...it, in a really small way gave us an understanding of what the troops in Afghanistan must face daily and it did sadden me somewhat. It also made me grateful that we have brave men and women out there in war torn regions defending liberty, democracy and our freedom. It also made me feel grateful for those who had passed on having fought and defeated enemies like Hitler who had threatened our very basic of human rights...the right to life.
|From battle field to Photo shoot!|