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Our Sad Personal Story about East Africa

In recent days we lost Lindy’s son Ross, 32, and his eight-and-a-half-month-pregnant partner Lief Yavuz to the Shabaab terrorists inside the Westgate shopping mall at Nairobi, Kenya. They traveled to Nairobi for the medical infrastructure that would bring their new baby into the World. They were in Westgate after attending a pre-natal class.

Ross Langdon, Christmas, 2009

I’m not sure what I was doing at the time they were killed. Most probably I was excited about shooting photographs of the Tall Ship Festival. The film negatives will be very difficult to process and scan because of their relationship to our loss.

On the Sunday morning I was unaware they were in Kenya. I was unaware about anything unfolding in Kenya. Eventually Lindy told me Ross and Lief had been to a pre-natal appointment near Westgate. Their hotel was over the road. It was natural they could be having lunch at the mall.

And then our telephone didn’t ring and the email to say they were safe and well never arrived. And the Tasmanian sky turned darker through dusk into night.

I’ll never believe I was supportive enough in those hours. Perhaps through denial. Or my own ignorance. Until that night after many frantic phone calls she said “They’re all dead.”

A tear comes to my eyes as I type those words. It’s so difficult to believe in the vibrancy of a Tasmanian Spring.

Yet I’m not angry at Islam or young men and women seduced in their poverty and lack of opportunity into doing this deed. Young men recruited from the fringe. Disenfranchised. Manipulated.

I’m just so very sad for the ripples of their actions around the World. And our loss of Ross and Lief.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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