Sachs's office window was streaked with rain. He had spent nearly two hours answering my questions, and they were starting to irritate him. It had been a long day. For a few moments, we sat in silence. Then he said: "I believe in the contingency of life."
Dertu's aging borehole had broken down, and not for the first time. In this instance, however, the situation was especially dire: it was the dry season, and both generator-driven pumps had given out at once.
There was no economy to speak of in Dertu. Here and there the nomadic herdsmen passing through would trade or sell livestock, and a modest business was established to sell camel's milk; otherwise, the only economic activities were gun running and cattle raiding.