August 26th, 2008 at 12:09 pm (Travel)
The military required us to stop in Kuwait on the way to Afghanistan, so while we were there we went into Kuwait City.
We visited one of the largest malls in the city. While I’m not used to seeing so many women AND men in robes, everyone was nice and respectful. And the mall was super clean. Cleaner then any U.S. mall I’ve ever been in. There were some oddities though, like in the food court they leave their food right there; they don’t throw it away. The clothes they were selling were really nice and expensive. And while my eye is untrained, their clothes seemed very fashionable.
We also went to see The Kuwait Towers. Apparently, the three tours serve not only as a tourist trap but also for practical purposes. One, the needle shaped tower, provides electricity to the suburbs in Kuwait. The second and middle towers stores up to one million gallons of water. They also house a rotating restaurant and the view was spectacular. You can see a large portion of the city.
At the end of the day we all ate at an Indian restaurant, that had plush cushions and delicious drinks (non-alcoholic! ) Its illegal to posses or drink alcohol in the country, so they poor alot of skill into their drinks. Smoothies, non-alcoholic cocktails, etc. I must have tried at least five different drinks at dinner, not including all the sips of my team mates drinks.
August 24th, 2008 at 11:05 am (Analysis)
Inspired by my friend Mlah, I got to wondering what I’ve done in the last 12 months… so heres a short list!
-Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan
-Learned how to Golf
-Flown in the Armys largest plane, the C-17
-Lost 2 pants sizes
-Been in sandstorms
-Shot a couple hundred rounds of an M60 from a Black hawk
-Visited New York City, saw Times Square
-Explored old abandoned Iraqi Tanks
-Saw the home of Abraham from the Bible
-Seen a partial lunar eclipse over the Iraqi dessert
-Learned how to play guitar
-Spent hours in the back of an MRAP with no AC
-Rode a train for the first time
-Attempted (& failed) to calm down a medic who had just tried to save his battle
-Rented a mustang
-Bought a Persian rug
-Watched a gangfight in a restaurant
-Spent a large sum of my battles money in Kuwait City b/c he accidentally got KD instead of U.S. dollars
-Visted the Mall of America
-Saw the Kuwaiti Towers
-Lived in a hotel for three months
-Flown in a Chinook in the middle of the night
-Worked 44 hours straight
-Went to a Wedding
-Got drunk on Borboun Street, New Orleans
-Drove someone elses boat in a swamp, while looking for alligators
-Tried to dress up like a Ninja when I’d had way too many drinks
-Learned from a 33 and a KFB
-Showered with a room full of women
-Watched the skin peel off my feet
-Designed and built a website
-Learned how to invest my own $ in the market
August 20th, 2008 at 12:58 am (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!
August 11th, 2008 at 3:02 pm (Iraq, Vacation)
So we’re back in Iraq. Missing home…everyday. Wouldn’t it be nice if vacations never ended!
We are adjusting to life over here again. We’ve been back a week and Curtis seems to have adjusted fairly well. Except I still have trouble getting him up in the morning. No more sleeping in…..vacation is over!
I’ve spent the week preparing for Afghanistan. I leave in just a couple of days for a three month tour over there. Curtis will stay here. Upon completion of the three months I will come back and work here in Iraq again. I’m excited and nervous.
I’ve heard rumor that Afghanistan is full of beautiful mountains. But I’ve also heard through the media mongers that the country has seen a severe up-swing in violence. Not looking forward to that part. But as I’m still young and restless/adventurous and full of patriotic spit and vinegar I must go where I feel my country needs me most. So I’m off!
August 2nd, 2008 at 12:43 am (Family, Vacation, Wisconsin)
Since I moved out of my Aunt and Uncles – who got me through high school – and taken on the big world, they have changed. Over the past few years, they’ve started playing golf. I was always a little confused about this, as they are hunters, four-wheelers, and seemingly adventurous people. I wondered how they could possibly enjoy a game like golf. I’ve always assumed golf was for rich fat white people. (excuse the ASSumption!)
On this vacation they insisted that we try it out and so we did…..WOW! It was so much fun. I had a blast. We rented the carts – mainly so we could drive really fast and act irresponsible; those things are so cool.
The best part of it all was Teeing off. I love hitting something/anything that hard. And to watch it fly through the air, knowing that I had hit it as hard and as accurately as I good…..was a great feeling. Also, spending time with the family was great. We laughed, drank beer, hit some balls, and just had an overall fun time.
When we weren’t driving the little go-carts around, we were walking. Being out in the Wisconsin fresh air felt great. Albeit a bit cold for me. I’m used to the 120-130ish degree weather of Iraq. But I did love it.
If you’ve never tried it, you must. You might find out you share the same misconceptions that I had.