From Iraq with Love…

Its been a rough couple of days. My immune systems seems to NOT be adjusting very well to the Afghan life. The usual common cold symptoms: runny nose, headache, body aches, etc. But as of last night you can add kidney infection to that list. Went to the hospital and they said that it was something in the water… really!?! Gave me an IV, some anti-botics, and pain killers. O! And they told me to drink more water. The last thing I wanted to do.

So I was having a rough time at work today, when I got this (picture on the right) in the mail. Curtis had ordered me a book and sent it to me from Iraq! The note said ‘I Love you’. With being sick and not having a good day at work, it just really hit the spot. I know he probably didn’t time it to arrive on the day I was having a sh*tty day, but it worked out perfectly. 🙂

The Bazaar

They have this place on the edge of post called the Bazaar. Think of an American flee market and that’s sort of what its like. But unlike an American flee market they sell items from Afghanistan culture. They sell stones from the surrounding mountains, rugs, furs, hand carved bowls, trinkets, and other misc. items. Some of the local work is very beautiful. There is so much detail and work put into the jewelry, wood, lapis, rugs, and stone work. 

And they have camels! They let you sit, stand, or ride them. The guy – in very broken Enlgish – kept trying to get me on the camel. I’ve always considered myself adventurous and not afraid of anything, but h*ll no! At least not yet. My normal companion of impulsiveness was not with me today.

With my job I have to stay on the bases. Even though I do get to travel to most of the bases in the country, I don’t get to physically leave the base without an escort, which pretty much means not at all. So this Bazaar is the extent of my exposure to Afghanistan culture. Its semi frustrating because I realize that for all my yearning, I don’t get to see this colorful culture right outside my doors.

Unfortunately, its only open one day a week… 🙁 But I’ll try to take more photos of some of the sellers wares. And if anybody wants anything (a rug, a hookah, gems, etc.), send me an email and i’ll pick it up.

Afghanistan

My team and I have arrived in Afghanistan. And, um, wow. Its NOTHING like Iraq. We are in a valley, surrounded by beautiful mountains and the weather is cold compared to Iraq.

Its so much more rugged here then where I was in Iraq. In Iraq I worked in Baghdad near Saddam’s old palaces. Because of all the media attention that Iraq has seen over the last two years, money has been poured into the country, while Afghanistan has been on the short list of attention.

Living conditions are extremely poor. Ex: My showers are only open a couple times a day for an hour. My team is living in a tent with a bunch of TCN (third country nationals). While living conditions may be sh*tty compared to Iraq, I feel like this is where we can do the most good. The job makes it worth dealing with some inconveniences, such as where I lay my head.

Here in Afghanistan I live by an airfield and I get to see A-10s daily flying over my head. The word that immediately came to mind upon seeing them was cute; my co-workers didn’t appreciate my choice of vernacular very much. They said I should be calling them ‘bringers of death’. As if! I may be working in a mans environment but I’m still a girl!