Back in the Saddle…

Back in the Saddle…

Ok so it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I could point to a couple reasons for this. The first is my schedule here. My contract says I’m to work seven days a week, twelve hours a day. I’m two months into it, and I think I’m only now starting to get the hang of this nutso schedule. The second is that I was sick for about six weeks STRAIGHT. At first I thought it was a cold. I kept working the long days and dosing up with Nyquil every night (couldn’t sleep because of a stuffed nose) and finally after five weeks I had to admit that it might possibly be more than a cold. The doctor here on my base scolded me for waiting so long to come in, and told me I had a nasty sinus infection – sounds so sexy, right? After about a week of being on antibiotics, I finally began to join the land of the living and felt somewhat close to normal again. I’ve only been feeling better for about a week now, and I can tell you, despite the dirt and grime and dust in the air everywhere (which could potentially be another reason for my sickness), I am a new woman. The local workers don’t know what to do with me because I’m pretty sure women are supposed to be seen and not heard, but as I pass them on base I smile and say hello and good morning to all of them (in Dari – I’m slowly learning little phrases!). I will say, though, that my favorite moment here so far was on my birthday. I put an all-Facebook alert out that I’d like gluten-free cake mix sent to me so I could enjoy a birthday cake. I ended up getting 4 boxes from wonderful friends, and on the day of my birthday, took two down to the Afghan restaurant on this base and the men let me back into their kitchen and together with two Afghan men who didn’t know a single word of English, I made my birthday cake. The most difficult part was figuring out the word for butter…masca…I’ll never forget it now! And the cake was SO great – I savored every bite knowing it came from people who loved and supported me, and was facilitated by foreign men who let me into their world (not common at all).

I decided to go around and take some pictures I think are entertaining on my base. Wal-Mart and Starbucks on a base the size of a postage-stamp – who would have guessed?!

The Croatian soldiers gave me this ISAF patch which I promptly put on a hat given to me by Canadian soldiers…it’s just inappropriate enough to feel like a rebel when I wear it – it says ISAF girl, ISAF is International Security Assistance Force, which we all fall under here, but it’s a Playboy logo. I’m going with the asking forgiveness instead of permission approach on this one.

This is what I get to read each and every time I use the bathroom here…ahhh…going to miss this sign someday. Note the bullet about the stool consistency!

Quite possibly the best part of the base – just a teaser of what we’re NOT getting here! I think the Afghans need a lesson on what “super center” means!

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