Written on 5-14-09
The sun rises early here and rudely awoke me around 0445 hrs as it peeked through my window and around the cloth window covering. I used this as an opportunity to walk around the camp and take in my surroundings. We are surrounded by huge bald faced mountains. I watched as the sun slowly rose between the mountain peaks in the distance. By best guess, the peaks reach up about 7-8000 feet. They appear harmless, yet beyond them the enemy awaits for an opportunity to attack the coalition and Afghan forces. This is when the reality of war reminds me where I am.
I ate an early breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese accompanied by some polish sausage and an overcooked hash brown. Nearby I filled a paper bowl with some fresh pineapple, honeydew, and topped it with fresh strawberries. My choice of coffee was limited to strong and weak coffee. I learned from Camp Phoenix that strong coffee was really strong. I wasn’t in the mood for watered-down asphalt, so I opted to mix my cup with half of each flavor. This seemed to pacify my coffee tooth. Yes it’s a far cry from my Millstone home brew and it can’t hold a candle to Starbucks either, but hey I’m in combat and the coffee is hot. No need to complain.
Today we dedicated a special monument commemorating the efforts of the US and Afghan forces. Previously the plan was to sacrifice a lamb and then allow it bleed it out for a day and then feast on the meat the next day. Due to logistical challenges, the lamb was purchased and made in advance. The Afghan Honor Guard surrounded the memorial and several guest speakers spoke. Meanwhile our small military flight stood at parade rest in 90 degree temperatures and a glaring sun. The Afghan general spoke in Dari without a translator for almost 40 minutes! Our arms and shoulders grew weary from trying to maintain this position and our military bearing while everyone spoke. Eventually the speeches ended and they unveiled the monument epitaph.Oops, someone forgot to spell check it, so “dedicated” was misspelled as “didicated”.
After the ceremony we were treated to another Afghan meal. This time the main course was lamb, more vegetables and leafy greens with Nan bread. Once again I forgot my spoon, but it wasn’t required for today’s feast. The lamb was a bit tough and unsure what spices or marinade was used if any. I smiled politely as I separated the gristle, fat and meat with my teeth. I washed it down with some bottled water manufactured locally here. I’ve included some pics for your viewing. (From Liisa: I’ll post more pictures in a slide show in the coming days!)
Later on in the afternoon a group of AF personnel took on the Army again at beach volleyball. Yesterday we played for 2 ½ hrs. The AF lost one game during the entire time. Our volleyball court is rather unique. It’s wedged between 2 buildings and surrounded by concrete barricades. The out of bounds area is only 6 inches from the barracks walls. It makes really interesting playing, especially with the air-condition units protruding from the walls. So far nobody has gotten seriously injured as we are all cognizant of the dangerous obstacles. I also took the opportunity to teach two of my teammates some more advanced fundamentals of playing volleyball. They are quick learners and have added a jump serve to their weapons arsenal. The Army won’t stand a chance!!
Filed under: Food and living conditions, Uncategorized | Tagged: Afghanistan, Air Force, cooking, Deployment, ETT, FOB, Food and living conditions, media, memorial, Military, multimedia, photography, photos, pictures, volleyball, war, writing | 2 Comments »