Problog

Hello and welcome to my blog. It is a blog about an Air Force Physician that was reluctantly deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan for 6 months.

I have to admit, I did not exactly volunteer for the deployment, and I was a little anxious about how it would all turn out. I ended up making the best of it, and surprisingly, I actually had a pleasant, life changing, experience.

I decided to keep the blog up and running because I kept on hearing, "Why is it that you only hear the bad news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan." I figured that I was helping spread a positive message about what we are doing over. Even more important, I wanted to continue to spread the word about the plight of the Afghan people, 99.9% of which are the most incredibly friendly people that you will ever meet. The title picture is a great example of that. I have never encountered such genuinely warm and friendly people. It was so strange to see so many people with so little material objects, yet at the same time, filled with so much of the joy that comes with close family ties, abundant friends, and a close knit community. We could definetly learn a lot from them.

You may notice, as you read the blog in its entirety, my arc. I shift from focusing on myself and my personal comforts, to shifting my focus on the Afghan cause. It is very easy to get distracted by the hustle of daily life and the comforts that the U.S. provides. It is really a challenge to awake from that coma and to start to care and think about the welfare of other people unrelated to you. I think it really took me about 4 or 5 months before I really opened my eyes and became personally affected by what I was experiencing. I hope I was able to recreate it.

I have tried to keep the blog squeaky clean so as to not offend anyone (or get me in trouble-I am still in the military). Even though I am a political junky with very strong personal opinions I have been steadfast in keeping this site free of any politics. I was called to do a job and I tried to do it to the best of my ability regardless of my political stance.

I recreated the blog to read more like a book, or should I say blook (get used to the corniness it only gets worse from here) just to make it an easier read. I have removed some names and pictures just to keep it more anonymous. I hope that it helps in making it less about me and more about the cause.

Lastly, in the spirit of the blog, I decided to include the Chipin Widget that I used to raise money for Nazia. If I get any additional money I will send the funds to The Women of Hope Project and someone over in Kabul will discretely give it to her (unless I hear otherwise). You can also contribute directly to the Women of Hope Project website. They are a wonderful cause. If you enjoy this blog then feel free to contribute. I am sure that once you read her story you will be very moved.

So kick back. Get ready to hopefully laugh and definitely cry.
If you like what you read then post a comment. I will be continuously editing this site in an attempt to improve it. Who knows maybe one day it will become a book!

Enjoy. Thanks for reading.

-Shazdoc

Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pesky Flys

Good afternoon. Or for most of you I should say, good middle of the night. Everyone that reads this is probably fast asleep right now. That actually works to my advantage because usually the first and second drafts that I write have the most spelling and grammatical errors. By the time people are actually awake to read them they have been proof read a few times. By that time I have changed all of my macaranas to macarenas. I am sure plenty of errors still slip through the cracks.

I am beginning to learn a lot more about the world of blogging. My knowledge has been growing by leaps and bounds. My first accomplishment was to install a site counter. For those of you that do not know, it involves cutting and pasting HTML. I really know nothing about HTML but I do know how to cut and paste. Here is a good tip you can take with you- holding down the Ctrl and C key at the same time is a short cut to copy and holding down Ctrl and V key is a short cut to paste. The second slightly challenging thing I did is I created a photo album as you can see on the right column. I plan to add pictures daily so be sure to check it regularly. I plan on taking pictures of all of the major Phoenix events. For instance, there is a body building competition taking place in early Nov. That should be interesting. I also will try and showcase all of the various activities around Phoenix even though I do not participate in them, like Cigar Night which takes place 3 times a week (they actually give away free cigars!).

I anticipate that there will be many people logging on searching for info on Kabul and Camp Phoenix since they will be deploying here in the near future (like I did at Fort Riley). Hopefully, I can give them a taste of what it is like over here and somewhat put their mind at ease. I have a really funny thought, we could take it even further if we wanted to and we could really simulate what it is like over here. First, after blindfolding a person, you can burn a bunch of tires near them to recreate the smell. I have been told that tires are part of the ingredient that they use to make bricks and that is why they are always burning them. Next, you will need to add the occasional low flying airplane, a lot of dust and dirt in the air, and pesky flys buzzing in your face (but only when you are in your office typing on the computer). You also will need to add the sound of Muslim prayer in the distance 5 times a day along with Revele and Taps played over the loud speaker every morning at 06:00am and 21:00. If you recreate all of these sounds and smells then it will prepare you for Camp Phoenix. Maybe I should contact Fort Riley and let them know.

I think that the idea of a locations having unique scents and sounds is very interesting. If you can think of any other place that has an undeniable and distinctive ambiance then write them in the comment section. It would be fun to read them all.

Today I also came across a site called milblogs. It is a site that lists all of the military blogs listed on military.com. I registered mine. Here is a link, I hope it works:

http://www.milblogging.com/

It is fun but kind but overwhelming to see all of the different blogs that are out there. I think that I am going to favorite a few of them and read them on a regular basis. I should probably mention the blog that actually introduced me to and got me interested in blogging which was A*W*A*C. by Capt Traversa. He was also deployed to Camp Phoenix and he had a great way of describing his experience in a fun and entertaining way. Here is the web link:

http://traversa.typepad.com/

Surfing all of the blogs also inspired me to create a goal for myself. I would like to try and get 50,000 hits on my site and win the Air Force Milblogs Blog of the Year Award. Hey, if you are going to try for something you may as well go big. I think I can do it. After all, I have 6 months and plenty of time on my hands. Here is the award that I would like to win.
I hope you all got inspired by yesterdays blog. I expect to get a lot of children's cloth very soon in the mail. When I get a good amount I will deliver them and take plenty of pictures.

Thanks for reading.

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