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

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Smog of War

"Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!"
-
Henry David ThoreauUS Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)

The air in Kabul was so thick with pollution this morning that you needed to use a fork and a knife just breath it. The air had the appearance of dirty fog. The problem with the air in Kabul stems from the fact that the city is surrounded by large mountains so the pollution is essentially trapped inside and can not easily ventilate itself. There are also a number of other causes which exacerbate the pollution, such as, cars that burn diesel fuel, people burning wood in furnaces to heat their homes, and, worst of all, everywhere you look they are burning tires.

Driving in Kabul is definitely an experience, especially when you are driving a Humvee. I loaded a few videos onto the shazdoc video site. The best way I could describe it is it is like you are driving an ambulance with blaring sirens. You have to be somewhat aggressive but at the same time very safe.
Today we did more equipment moving. Most of the doctors arrived wearing very nice cloths like leather jackets and turtle neck sweaters. I do not think that they came expecting to lift boxes and move furniture. I tried to lead by example. I grabbed a heavy box and I said, "Come on, grab a box. Lets put them in your room."
When I got back I had 2 big boxes waiting for me. I told the person working in the post office not to be surprised if he starts to getting packages addressed to 6 M.I.K.. He looked at me a little funny and jokingly asked to see my ID.

One of the packages I got was a box full of children's socks from someone in Waynesboro, Virginia. The second box was filled with towels and watches from someone from Newbury Park, California. People always ask me if I need anything and 9 times out of 10 I say, "No thanks, I am doing just fine. We are very well taken care of over here." Well when I got asked this question recently I answered truthfully saying that I really needed a new towel and a really cheap watch if one was lying around. Because of this request I got sent 20 watches (if you look closely you can see the price tag of $250.00) and 20 towels. What can I say. That is Soldiers Angles for you. When you ask for something they really deliver. I gave out the watches to all of my office mates and they were all very appreciative.


I have not mentioned it for a while but I am still more then happy to distribute any donations that you send me. I prefer that you send me stuff for Afghan children. Whatever you send I will try and personally hand them out and take pictures. Don't worry about how my address is changing. The post office here will easily forward anything you send to my new address.

Thanks for reading.

13 comments:

Kristen M said...

Do you see respiratory problems a lot there? We have them here in Phoenix because of particulates in the air and I can't imagine how people would do here if the air was as bad as in Kabul.

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