Jack Marlow

MarloweJack2496_pro.jpgWhile manager of the Stanley office in Liberia in 1981, I came down with malaria. While recovering, I also came down with amoebic dysentery, a kidney infection, general staff infection, conjunctivitis, and water on the knee. I was admitted to the hospital. Gregs Thomopulos, my supervisor at the time, asked if it was just me that was sick or if it was the whole family! The final inspection of the 25-mile Bomi Hills Road was scheduled to occur during my stay in the hospital. Not wanting to reschedule the inspection, I dressed and left the hospital. I rode with Gus Lipins, the Resident Engineer for the project, along with the senior engineers from the Public Works Department. I told Gus to make it quick. I commented to the public works engineers about how smooth the pavement was as we traveled down the new highway at 90 miles per hour. No problems were observed during the inspection, at least in part to the fact that not much detail can be seen while traveling at 90 miles per hour. Luckily, the inspection was over quickly and Gus returned me to the hospital.

I once spent a month in Egypt with Ed Slattery in about 1991, preparing sewer system operating and maintenance manuals. While there, we stayed a couple days at a hotel in Cairo near the pyramids. Since Ed and I were both runners, I suggested that we get up early the next day and run around the Great Pyramid of Giza. Ed agreed and we were out running early the next morning. We failed to take into account that the Great Pyramid is located in a tourist park with specific hours and posted guards. We arrived before the park opened and were stopped and questioned by security guards armed with machine guns. In what little Arabic I could muster, I explained that we wanted to run around the ancient ruins. The guards agreed and, in Arabic, instructed us to run quickly while pointing their machine guns at us and motioning for us to go. Curious as to what the guards were saying while waiving their guns at us, Ed asked me "What did they say?" I responded, "Run quickly." We ran quickly.

After moving to Yemen in 1982, I wanted to get back into my running routine so I chose a route and set out on a run after work. There were very few sidewalks and when there were, they generally had trees planted so as to make it impossible to keep on the sidewalk. Therefore, I ran in the roadway. Part way through my run, a taxi pulled up beside me and asked if I wanted a ride. I declined and he dropped back and began to follow me. I believe that he was convinced that I would eventually become tired and change my mind. He followed me nearly all the way back to my home. Needless to say, traffic backed up and there was a lot of honking.

After that, I decided that it might be best to run early in the morning before the roads were busy. A couple of days later, I set out at the first prayer call (before dawn) and headed into the hills outside the city. The wild dogs in the area did not appreciate my intrusion into their morning and barked and howled throughout my run. The noise was enough that people along the way joined in the howling at me. On my third run, I chose a strictly urban route and I stuck to it the rest of my stay in Yemen. There was war going on in Yemen, and my predawn runs would take me past several military check points and the headquarters of the military intelligence. One morning as I passed the military intelligence headquarters, I heard the distinct noise of an automatic rifle being cocked. I looked to my side to see a guard taking aim at me with his AK47. I believe that he had been sleeping and my footsteps had startled him awake or perhaps he was a new guard, and unaware of my regular run past his post. Whatever his thoughts were, I merely slowed down, smiled and waved. He lowered his gun and waved back. I continued running the same route and did not have any more problems the rest of my stay.

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