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

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Warehouse

"I'm going to memorize your name and throw my head away."
-Oscar Levant(1906 - 1972)

This is just a random quote that made me laugh a lot. I didn't get it at first. I figure it has to probably be just about the worst insult that you could tell a person.
Today we went back to the new clinic. We have 3 weeks until it opens and we are still rearranging the room locations. Today, believe it or not, one of the issues was that women and men cannot share the same exam rooms. We knew that there had to be separate waiting areas but we did not know about exam rooms. That is an easy fix. A lot still needs to happen from a construction standpoint but I think that it should all come together on time. I am curious how receptive the Afghans will be to the committees I plan on starting. I could potentially start about 10 but I think I am going to limit it to credentialing, infection control, and emergency management.

After we left the clinic we headed over to the French compound called Warehouse. We went with the Wolf Pack which is a group of Army folks that have been nice enough to work us into their convoys. They have big guns on their vehicle and we don't. They were having a going away for one of their guys. I am not sure why the French call their compound Warehouse. Here is the sign when you first enter the compound.

The sign says, "Switch Off Your Jams." No, they are not talking about music. Jammers are electronic devices that jam IEDs (improvised explosive devices). They interfere with radio signals and that is why you have to turn them off.
I was impressed with the French base. They really know how to go to war. They have a number of nice restaurants. Take a look at this one. It looks like a regular restaurant that you would find in the states. War fighting by day, fine dinning by night.

Before we started to eat we had to exchange our money into Euros. I somewhat confused the guy at the exchange counter because I wanted to convert $18.00 and he was only used to $10.00 and $20.00 bills. He said that $10.00 should be enough for lunch. I went to the counter to order my meal and they had a bunch of photos where you could point to what you wanted to eat. I pointed to a sub sandwich and he said that they only serve this for breakfast. I then started pointing to just about every picture on the wall, even the weird long hot dog looking think that was split at each end in three different directions. every time I pointed to a picture he shook his head indicating that I did not have enough money for the meal. Meanwhile, the line was getting longer and the people were growing more impatient. I ended up borrowing 2 Euros and eventually got the pork medallions with mushroom and onions . It was qui a bon gout (delicious).
A few other observations from the French compound. They had a mini Eiffel Tower about the size of a light post. They have a club/bar and they are allowed to drink alcohol. They also wear really big, floppy, berets. I do have to mention, just about every French soldier that I have met has been really friendly. I have even made a couple friends over here at Camp Phoenix.
Lastly, my wife wrote to me earlier and told me that they had to evacuate our home over in southern California. She and the kids are staying with my brother's house in L.A.. She said that the flames are very near my daughters preschool. Hopefully they can get the fire under control. I am going to try and call them tonight.

Thanks for reading.

78 comments:

Lynette said...

Doug Traversa at AWAC said you were going to be good to read about Afghanistan and he was right. Keep on writing. I hope your family and your home stay clear of the fires.

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Hi , my name is Gallo i would like to open a shop inside camp warehause i can't find any information any body can please help me.
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