Friday, March 16, 2007


Helmet Head

I finally found a hat that doesn't make my ears look big!

So the trip is on. I gots me armor and departure time. Marv and Jamison just got back a couple hours ago and they had a quiet trip, only their teeth chattering in their head on the roads!

I doubt most of you know this, but I had planned all my life of being a Navy SEAL, but God had other plans for me. So this weekend trip with a bunch of Navy and Army guys will be not only be a nice getaway from Kabul-town, but will be the closest I've been in a long time to the military. Donning the armored vest and helmet a bit ago just got me wondering how different life would have been had God let me be a SEAL.

Okay, we're off to steak & lobster night so I gots ta go! MMMMmmmmmmmm......lobster.......

Nose Pickin'

I don't know that I've EVER picked my nose as much as I do over here! It's still cold outside and snow still lingers on the ridgelines surrounding this city so we have the heat running inside the house ALL the time. We have split units and floor heaters that run constantly. The house structure is entirely concrete and the floors in all but the bedrooms are tile -- so the place is always chilly. It also lacks the warmth of a place that we, as Americans, would call "home". Thus, with the heat always on the air inside the house is dry which takes it's toll on your skin -- and your nose!

Okay, now that you're laughing and wondering what in the world I'm talking about, I'll get along lil' donkey! Things are good for us here. We're awaiting the return of our friends Jamison and Marv from the Kandahar (K-har) province. They should be landing in a few minutes and since two planes have just departed KIA (Kabul International Airport), I'm guessing flights are still on today. There's really no reason why they shouldn't be, but things change here in a moments notice, with or without reason. I'm still scheduled to make a visit to K-har tomorrow sometime so tonight I'm washing clothes and packing for a few days. Oh, and tonight is steak & lobster night at the mess hall on base so guess where we're eatin' din-din tonight?! Schweeeeeet! Steak & lobster, wash clothes, hang out by the bonfire while clothes are washing......should be a good evening.

Well, not much else to say. I appreciate the emails and phone calls that you send. I'm sorry if I don't get back to your messages quickly or at all. Please just know that I do get them. Please pray that it's a quiet weekend down south in K-har province. Our trip to Kunduz next week has been pushed back, and we've got another site out west of here to go see. That should be a good trip too.

Have a great Friday, I hear it's supposed to be rainy in Atlanta so THFFFT :p That's what you ALL get for bragging to me this week about how wonderful the weather's been!

I still don't know where my house keys are. And Joey, nice try. I DO know where my bikes are...punk!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

0810 hours

The latest is that we do not know for certain if the explosion was the direct result of a carbomb. We do know that 5 are dead, 20 injured. We also know that it was not something that was directed at the military or other Western agency. It apparently was an explosion of (4) shops which all contained gun powder. Like I said, it could still have been an IED or carbomb that started it but the likihood of that is slim right now. See, the people here use open flames for cooking and they drink chai tea like we do our favorite Starbuck's drink. The present news we're getting is that it is likely one of these open flames warming someone's morning chai that caused the explosion. Apparently there was enough gun powder amoungst the (4) shops to do some damage though.

We're still in a lockdown mode until everything clears but it's less of a concern right now.
0700 hours

Kabul, Afghanistan

Breaking news that I'm sure you'll hear about back home....the Coaltition Forces base here in Kabul just got hit with a car bomb. We're going into lockdown mode here at the Villa and our teammates that were to fly back in today may be delayed in Dubai. The picture shown was taken literally moments after I felt the percussion on the windows and heard the explosion. Right now all is quiet and our PST (private security team) is business as usual. I'm supposed to have a meeting at one of the other bases this morning at 0800 hours and I've just spoken with the Cdr. to see if we're still on but we're not sure yet if the base is in total lockdown.
It could be an interesting morning....
I'll keep ya posted as the day goes on here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Monday to you! So not much new to report here except the plans for the week, which lead into a couple prayer requests. It's been raining and snowing a bit more here in Kabul over the weekend so the roads around our neighborhood are back to being mud pits. I joke with our folks here that America just needs to send a few good ol' Georgia Rednecks over here with a slew of Rebel flags and their 4x4's and rest assured, the Taliban would stop any and all activity!

So I promised in my last posting that I'd send you some pictures from the new room on the upper deck of the Villa. So I've included a couple below. Take note that I did not manipulate the color on these at all. I just set my little Fujifilm FinePix A600 to the night setting and snapped away. These pictures were taken this evening, Monday, at about 6:00pm local time.

Alright, moving onto important matters. As I'm sure you've all heard, action is picking up here and much of the rebel activities are in the Southern areas of the country (must be something about the South regions of countries that fuels disdain for government...but I digress...that's another entry for another day). One of the hottest areas of the country is the Kandahar Province. Well, on Tuesday we have two of our team heading to K-har for site visits with our military counterparts. They'll be gone until Friday. I may be heading to Kunduz, which is North of our location in Kabul, on Wednesday or Thursday of this week before heading to K-har for the weekend. Since our team here is working on two different areas, our military counterparts represent the same split in focus thus, it's incredibly difficult to try and coordinate that many people for one trip to go see different things. Hence the reason why I will not be traveling with Marv and Jamison on Tuesday's trip to K-har. Oh, I should add that we will be traveling with military forces so we'll be very well guarded!
Here's a map so you can follow along at home!

Furthermore, I have a new friend that is currently on a trip outside of Kabul, where she is based. She's a Marine who calls Lafeyette, IN home and she works with public relations for the Corps. She wrote the other day that she got to spend some time as the turret gunner on a HumVee for a couple convoys this week and she was pretty stoked about that! To fully understand the danger of this, I've included a picture -- not of any operations currently in Afghanistan -- so you can see how exposed the turret gunner is. This person must be on their toes and have their eyes open no matter what. Watching these guys suit up for transport makes you truly proud to be an American! Jamison, my coworker, is a former Tanker for the US Army and fought in Desert Storm and when he saw the armor these gunners were sporting, he was impressed.
Oh, and I know there've been talks back home about ramping up troop sizes here and Iraq. Well, I may not know much, but I do know that we're seeing a lot of new faces around, many of whom look to be only 19 or 20 yrs old.

Do us a favor and keep all these people in your prayers this week. Not that I'm seasoned here or anything, but it doesn't take long to figure out a thing or two. You can tell the new folks in country by the wide-eyed stares and freshly pressed BDU's. Some of these men and women left children at home to come here. They get no time to let jet lag catch up to 'em - they're put to work straight away in their armor, no matter the time of day.

I'm confident that we'll all be just fine because I know our God will protect us. I've not heard from the Marine in a few days but that was expected. I'm sure she's just fine because I know she spends a good amount of time in prayer before our God as well. Now, that doesn't make planning for the trip to K-har any less stressful. We'll go and do our jobs. If something happens to me while I'm gone, then hopefully I've accomplished whatever it was that God had set out for me to do.