Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve in Afghanistan

Kandahar 12/25 01:50

Christmas Eve in Afghanistan is no different than any other. Basically it sucks.

There is little to do, lines at the phone kiosk, and a line at the crappy, sorry ass excuse for a coffee shop Green Bean. They serve the functional equivalent of dirt and burnt coffee beans. I go to the Canadian's place, Tim Horton's. Great coffees at a great price.

Have I mentioned there is no legal liquor on any American base in Afghanistan?

Anyway, there are some highlights. If you own a laptop, you can watch DVDs. Some of the fellows make a big deal out of it, and set up a movie trading and watching group. Others shoot pool, read, or work out. Actually, in comparison to even 20 years ago, most of the bases have pretty sophisticated amenities. Of course, there are some without even the most basic facilities.

Tonight, the ground pounders shot a few flares off. You could tell it was for fun and the holidays, because they didn't open up and spend thirty to forty thousand dollars worth of ammunition. It was fun to watch.

The Mountains at Tarin Kowt.

I will be counting my blessings, call home at 0400 which will make it about supper time there. Going to say howdy to all my family and friends that are eating dinner with us.

I hope Y'all have a safe and wonderful Holiday season! Keep your eyes open, and your feet on the ground.

Best regards,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So You Think It's All Fun and Games

Kandahar 12/24/09


I'm just having loads of it here in A'stan!

This picture is from about a month ago, when we had a series of duststorms blow through. The dust is a talcum powder fine, heavy as granite particle that gets into everything.

Sucking dust!

To be honest, I'm amazed every time I see an aircraft, fixed or rotary, take off. You would think that the engines would stop dead in their tracks from all the dust. But our fellows keep them running, and running smooth!

Actually the most dangerous thing I have to contend with, (Besides the rocket attacks and the occasional small arms fire.) is dirty windows on the vehicles. I am surprised we don't run over more of these Third Country Nationals that dart out into the streets. My friends to the north, the fellows from Canada, are real bad about it too, especially the ones from Quebec.

Outside the PX.

We are in the "rainy" season now, if you can call it that. It is a wet, freezing, and miserable rain that comes down and turns everything into a sodden mess. The mud is slick, sticky, and smelly. And the water can't percolate down because of the soil conditions. Nothing works like it should in Afghanistan.

Remind me to tell you the story about Alexander and his band of Greeks...

Running out of time my friends...

Best Regards, and Happy Hunting!

Albert A Rasch