The streets were closed to traffic; the African Union's armoured vehicles and soldiers with AKs were at times a necessary reminder of where we were. "This is not how to behave in a war zone", said Fanha, our guide and translator, at one point, having dragged me from a crowd of dancing women. One lady had started striking my bottom with a tambourine while others were shrieking and clapping and wiggling their hips to the beat. It would have felt churlish to walk away without joining in.
During our 6-day stay in Mogadishu, we followed another very positive story - the Somali Olympic athletics team, most of whom are training 6-days a week for London 2012. One male and one female runner will take part. Around 10 volunteers are working to make Somali representation at the Olympics possible. They are fundraising, organising visas and passports, facilitating training, supporting the young female runners who are fighting stereotypes to take part, and battling for necessary equipment.