Updated: Jul 7, 2021
I quickly became the Queen of trade, swopping out my sardines or beans for bully beef and Instaporridge which we would simply mix with water. That stuff really blocks your tummy up for weeks, just a warning.
At this point the mountain runs were becoming easier and the the push ups and squats were slowly becoming less painful. We all had our own individually concocted "perfumes" that we wore all the time as if we showered once a week we were lucky. (Thank goodness for wet wipes). Harem a much older man with the biggest most genuine heart walked past me once in the field and commented aloud "Jeez my Girl you smell!" We all laughed as each of us could be smelt from the moon.
I remember the boys acting weirdly around camp the one day and looking around to see them very busy collecting sticks, rope and whole bloody trees. I tried to follow to see if I could help and got told to go sit by the fire. A little while later they all came and got me; I was lead off along a bush trail a bit away from camp. To my total surprise there in the middle of nowhere stood a solid bush wall made out of large cut branches, with greenery slotted in between so you can't see through and as I walked to the front found another 2 walls built the same with a little make shift door hung on by rope. When I opened the door I found a really deep long drop dug out in the sand and 'side railings' and either side so you can hold yourself up while you answer natures call. I was blown away and honoured; these men had used what little energy they had left to build me my own private ladies toilet. I almost cried, I had been walking far off into the bush every time in fear of being walked in on and had always tried to do it very sneakily... I don't know why us woman are so shy of something so natural and might I say necessary but these men all stole my heart with such a kind jester.
I am and always will be a lady. It doesn't matter if I'm crawling on my belly across mud or carrying 50kg's up a mountain, I maintained who I was and always had respect and dignity which is how I believe I changed all of their views on having a woman in the battle field with them. In chats around the fire we often spoke of really deep and heartful things; life and love, our histories, our futures but one conversation I won't forget was the reasons why they were all so hesitant in the beginning to have me on the squad. They believed that now they on top of everything else they needed to accomplish also had the task of protecting me and helping me with everything that needed to be done which would negatively impact their mental states and energy levels. But what they didn't expect was for me to be more than capable of protecting not only myself but also them and just because I was slender in build didn't mean my heart wouldn't make my body carry your big manly ass up a huge mountain to safety and just because I was surrounded by extremely foul mouthed boys all the time didn't mean I would accept it in my presence and through this respect of me they grew closer to one another and less interested in conflict and more united as a team. So therefore having a female who could equally pull her weight, wouldn't tolerate horrid swear words or ugliness and could shoot better than all of them meant that the over all standard of the unit was held high. "We would gladly go into battle with any woman of your calibre" is something that was said that I will always always cherish.
So along with this amazing shift in their thinking came a huge learning curve for me...
Once a week we would be given a 5L Oros (pure f#ing gold I tell you) and we would have to share it amongst ourselves. So after I went to pour myself my rightful portion and found the entire bottle to be empty after only having it for half a day; I absolutely lost my mind. We had also had all our cigarettes confiscated so the mood was probably already there but anyway... I had a 'minor' freak out and called everyone savages and stormed off to my tent only to moments later come flying out again because total war had broken out and fists were being thrown.
Well Guess who got into trouble... Me. Once the instructors had managed to pull everyone apart and calm the situation I was haled off, muscled through my many push ups and then received a proper talking to about where my place in the team truly was and that if I hadn't noticed by now I was an idiot.
It's not usual in a large group of men that the only woman would become the leader, the glue, the calm.. so when I lost it they all lost it which is why it was my fault because my actions allowed them to let lose in order to find the culprit who had stolen all the juice when in actual fact it was all of them... but they would rather completely ignore their own part in the 'crime' in order to defend my honour and bring the culprit to justice. Truly Interesting...
So maybe woman are the energy that man needs to either go to war or to also seek for peace.
Woman - War Of Man ? or Will Of Man ?