Okay, despite the war that brought us all to Afghanistan, I know that this deployment is pretty good. We have a brand spanking new hospital for which we can be proud of the near-herculean efforts taken for us to move, bag and parcel, over the course of weeks (literally) and immediately after a near sleepless night of rocket attack alarms. We have a safe place to sleep and, now a safe place to work. The heat is bearable, for those from South Texas (it really does feel like San Antonio during the summer). The dust storms, small and large, give the airfield a “Wild, Wild West” feel. There’s always a new opportunity to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and different nations across the globe. It’s hard not to say “Cheers” or “Brilliant” in reply or when spelling, using “zed” not “zee” or greeting someone with “Namaste”… you get the picture, don’t you? I wish at times that we had more time to get to know some of these folks outside of work. It seems just as I’m getting to know someone, I’ve got to say farewell! I’ve also been trying to walk a K9, Max, for at least a month, but my work schedule hasn’t allowed for much downtime during dog walking hours (daylight). We have a multitude of dining facilities from which to choose as well as a handful of proper restaurants, cafes, and fast food joints. There are a few gymnasiums where we, as Americans, can work out, although my preference is the NATO gym that’s very near my barracks. (It has my favorite cardio equipment, the Technogym Cardiowave.) For the shopaholic in me, there’s the opportunity to browse the little stores sponsored by the different nations as well as the KAF bazaar on Saturdays. I’m getting quite good with different rug styles and types here in Afghanistan. My personal favorites are made from Belgian wool: Khal Mohhamedi, Khawaja Roshnai. (See www.uacarpets.com to visit my favorite KAF rug shop! Ask for Ali or the owner, Jahan.)
So, as I think about some of the things I do during a typical week, food comes to mind. One of my favorite places to grab a bite to eat, especially outside of rush hour mealtime, is the Dutch restaurant, All Seasons. I love love love their pancakes with cheese and ham or cheese and bacon. They also have a lovely sweet tea with lemon and nice coffee, too. For my birthday (yes, I turned 39, again…LOL), I ordered the steak plate. For $14, I think I got a great deal, considering I would pay twice that in Japan or the US. I love going to the Dutch duty free store as well, because there is ALWAYS a great selection of sweets (chocolate and licorice) and my favorite Pringles flavor, paprika. Mmmmm. I also found a wonderful skin cream there that is for babies but works well, even as a face cream, Zwitsal. It smells so nice and fresh! (Another product for my “applications” drawer!)
Well, it’s time to knock off… I switch to night shift in a couple of days so hopefully, I’ll get back to a normal sleep schedule…well as normal as being in a warzone allows.