Saturday, May 12, 2007

Whew, what a day!

And I don't mean that in a good way! Saturday was not fun at all. See, apparently Friday night at dinner, we got a hold of something that was not good. A couple of here in the house were sick as dogs yesterday. I'll spare ya the details, but let's just say I feel 10x better today!

So let's see, what's new here? I'm dreaming up my vacation plans in the UK for the first week of July, I think I mentioned that before. I just found this area in the south of Scotland that has (8) sets of trails -- not just (8) trails -- and the videos are killer! I'm getting stoked about this opportunity. Maybe I'll just stay on the main island instead of having to unpack and rebuild the bike 4 times....hmm.....For my riding friends, check these clips out... Sweet singletrack goodness!

So yes, my bike made it here. It's in the "trusty" hands of the fine Afghani customs folks at this moment. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go pick it up today -- and HOPEFULLY I won't get charged an arm and a leg in customs fees.

On another note, I've been asked to take on a project down in Pensacola for two years starting in July. It's an expansion of a national cemetary just outside the Naval Air Station there. I'm excited about the opportunity, for sure, but it will mean having to move and find a new church, make new friends...all that jazz. It will all be fine, but I was just starting to enjoy the idea that I haven't moved in 2 years! Well, here we go again! I'll say this, I've been praying that God make it clear as to whether I'm supposed to make a third trip back to Kabul and then I got this call. Guess He can't be much clearer, eh?

Okay, well, I need to get moving. The work day is starting here -- man, I'm thankful to be feeling better today!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Now that I'm away from the craziness and have WAY too much time to think, I'll get all pensive on ya ;) Most of you know that before Christmas I adopted another Great Pyrenees dog named Gus. Well, with being away and not having time to work with him while home, I had to give him up. He had some destructive behavior that I don't have time to work through since I'm gone. My folks actually found him a good home on a 10 acre farm with a family that had just lost their male Pyr the week before due to a complication in a surgery. So Gus Gus is with good folk.

Ah, since I don't talk about cycling enough lately (geez, here he goes....) I'll toss in some planning here -- maybe one or two of the sponsors are actually playing along. Wait! I only have one or two this year, that's right! Anywho, I bought a new road bike while I was home -- it's a Van Dessel Kermis. It has an aluminum main frame with carbon fork and rear end, Shimano Ultegra components and rides like a dream. I'm having my WaltWorks mtn bike shipped over here to the Kabul-town along with a trainer. I need some spin time to get jacked up for some late season riding and I can't be all out of shape just because I've been here -- my riding friends would never let me live it down. (Hush Joey! Don't EVEN start)! It should get here next week and I'll toss up a picture of it set up and me staring off at the mountains in the distance wishing I were riding them.

The ulterior motive for having the bike here is actually so I can do a race in the UK on my way home. There's this race called the Dusk till Dawn and it takes place on the Isle of Man, between Ireland and England on July 7. And this little race called the Tour de France just happens to start in London this year on July 7, so hopefully I'll catch the stage on the 8th before they head over to Dunkirk, Belgium. My current thoughts have me in Dublin for me birthday on the 3rd which I think will be kinda cool. I have very current ancestry from Ireland so it'll be nice to at least go see the place since I'll be right there ;) Trust me, there'll be a photo essay of these travels for your enjoyment...oh, did I just tease you? I'm so sorry. right!

Allright, a promise is a promise. I'll keep it short. You do realize though that just means I'll have to write more often. HA! You didn't think of that now did ya?!

Oh, and I don't know what happened while I was gone, but my morning Koran reading got switcherood from 5:45am to 4:30am. Those sneaky Muslims! Nothing like waking up to the Koran being read over a loudspeaker at 4:30am 2 blocks from your bedroom window! Guess they'll have to start getting a taste of some Vince Poole sangin' out some praises to the Lo'ord! Now where'd I put those speakers.....

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Kabul Take 2

So apparently I ruint some of ya on my first trip with my blog ramblings because I keep getting asked for more. Well, here ya are….

I’m back in the Kabul-town, just in on Saturday from the good ol’ USofA. I think I messed up by not taking a hotel room for a night in Dubai – I didn’t sleep a wink from Thursday morning until Saturday morning (EST). For some reason I just couldn’t sleep on the planes this time – no, it wasn’t b/c I was all worked up over something – that was last time! This time I think it was b/c I was traveling alone so there was no one to watch out for me and my stuff. Anyone who’s done this internationally knows what I’m sayin! There’s no feeling more insecure than carrying your checked luggage into the airport restroom….twice! I felt like Linus with his blue blanket.

Anyway, I got here without any hitches and even got to enjoy an hour or so and a cup of coffee with a friend in London’s Victoria Station in between my flights. It was nice to see a familiar face!

Let’s see…what else….oh, not much has changed here. There were some crazy times while I was gone where folks decided to get stupid and want to kill someone, but that’s the routine here. Sunday, actually, just as I was walking into church service, I learned of an attack on a US military convoy here in town. This time I have friends who knew those soldiers killed. I’m not sure if I can give details so I won’t. Suffice it to say, this one hit the folks close to home and many on the base are a bit shaken up so please keep them and the families of the victims in your prayers.

There’s more to say, but I’ll try to keep these entries brief this trip. Here are some pictures from the trip home….

Atlanta traffic – man, I missed that! (ahem, not!)

Braves vs Cubbies. Now I DID miss this! Braves won, for the record, so put one in the W column!

Me in London with new friends. Ya know, those Brits are kinda cool folk! Next time I’ll actually have to take the tour as payment for the picture!

I just thought this made for a good picture. It’s the pedestrian tunnel at the Tube in London.

Outside London’s Victoria Station

Dubai skyline, specifically the Jumerieh area I believe. “Like a phoenix rising from the ashes….”