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, April 26, 2008

Computer Lesson

"I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought I'd rather dance with the cows until you come home."
-Groucho MarxUS comedian with Marx Brothers (1890 - 1977)

Sorry for the quality of that picture. We shot it as we were passing by in a car. As many times as I have seen it, I still can not get over seeing the hanging meat.

Another long day. I MOVED AGAIN. I think that I have moved 3 times over the past 4 days. Moving is not an easy task. I probably have about 10 different bags. One thing is for sure, I am not moving out of this room. Speaking of all of the bags, no one could ever say that the government does not equip us properly. I have so many uniforms, so much cold weather gear, the most advanced body armor, etc.. Even the cars we drive are all brand new. We are really well taken care of over here. Even the food is plentiful. I consider myself to be an all-you-can-eat buffet affectionado . We have a Las Vegas style, all-you-can-eat buffet three times a day. I am surprised that I can still fit in my uniform the way that I have been eating.

I decided to be a good friend to LtCol Peters and give him my old room so he does not have to walk as far in his body armor. It was an act of pure selflessness (not to mention the other room was private and also came with a TV, but that in no way factored into my selfless decision). Entering my new room was almost comical. Again, like always, I have to preface this by saying I appreciate my living conditions because most people do not have it this good. I walk into the room and I turn on the lights and I hear a loud buzzing sound coming from the light fixture and then the light just flickers instead of coming on. The room looks like an old Motel 6 hotel room but 1/3 the size. It is really not that bad. Here is a picture.


Today at the clinic I sat and had chai for about an hour with one of the Orthopedist. A large part of creating success in Afghanistan is about building good relations. When you meet with someone you should not rush and discuss work matters, rather, you first need to sit down and discuss how they are, how their families are doing, and then the work gets discussed a little later.

A son of one of the people that runs the clinic came to visit today. He is about 12 and speaks pretty good English. I sat down with him in front of one of the new computers and I thought that I was going to teach him a thing or two. He quickly reversed the roles and was the one that ended up teaching me. I had never seen anyone so fast with a computer before in my life. He would open different screens, click here, type there, all with lightening speed. We even made a short movie with windows movie maker all in 5 minutes. It had music, pictures, special effects, and even credits (I was the executive producer by the way). I was very impressed.

Coming home today I saw this same homeless family that is always in the same spot whenever we pass by. I am not exaggerating when I say this, the mother and father actually sit down in the middle of a busy and chaotic street. They have 2 children that walk from car to car begging for food or water. For some reason seeing them today really struck a cord with me. I kept thinking about the two children all day. They are 2 little girls probably around 10. Both were filthy. Their hair was all in dreadlocks. They have just been born into such unimaginable hardship. At least the children in the orphanage that I visited were housed, fed, and bathed. These children not only did not have any of these things but they are also forced to beg for food and water in the middle of a busy street. I am going to try and do something good for them. I can always ask the interpreters to drop something off for them. It obviously would be too dangerous, not to mention against the rules, for us to stop the convoy. I will also try and see if I can get some pictures uploaded. If anybody wants to send them anything I would be happy to deliver it to them.

Someone was asking for my email. Here it is gph13040@gmail.com. I would prefer if you posted a comment on the guest book or in the comment section of the post. Emails are great but they get deleted and no one else gets to read them.

Thanks for reading.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I definitely needed a few tissues handy to read this entry. I won’t be able to stop thinking about those 2 little girls and I hope you are able to offer them some help. I’ve been gathering items to send for you to distribute, but I want to send something for those 2 little girls. What would you suggest we send……warm clothes, hygiene items, food? I assume they could use just about anything.
This is a really great thing you're doing here. Thanks, and keep up the good work.
Mrs. Kringle

GP said...

Your're right. They would appreciate just about anything you send.

I will be more then happy to see that anything you send gets delivered to them.

Thanks.

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