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

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Living the Dream

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix."
-Christina Baldwin


Today we moved into our new home over at Camp Eggers. It is kind of a sad day for us because our team is somewhat breaking up. Doc Peters is staying back over at Camp Phoenix for now because of some medical issues. We linked up with our teammates that we trained with over at Fort Riley. We are somewhat spread out throughout the base. All and all, I have to say that it is a much better move in the long run because it cuts down our commute which ultimately makes it safer. The base is nicer then Camp Phoenix in many ways. It has a lot more trees and I think a lot more social activities.

The base is in somewhat of an interesting arrangement. The military basically bought up an entire neighborhood of nice homes and walled it off and turned it into a base. Where there were swimming pools and yards they stacked connex boxes and made offices and sleeping quarters. Connex boxes are large metal containers that you load stuff into. There is not a lot of free space so finding your way around is interesting. You have to walk through all kinds of passage ways. I actually have to walk though a bathroom everyday to get to my new office. I had to navigate through this dark and narrow passage way just to get to the office to type this post.



The chow hall is not as good as Phoenix. Most importantly, it just does not have the homey feeling that Camp Phoenix had. I am sure that it will come with time.

I am currently staying in temporary housing. Here is a picture of where I am living. Lots of bunk beds. Yep mom, I am living the dream! I am actually kidding. The accommodations are again very nice compared to other FOBs around Afghanistan. Most other service members in Afghanistan are living in tents and B-huts. I am very fortunate to be in a hardened structure. I am on a waiting list for more permanent housing.

We had a short birthday party for one of our teammates tonight. Afterwards we all went and ate dinner together. It was very nice.

Camp Eggers had their big bazaar today. I am getting the Fetish Bear charm that was sent to me yesterday made into a necklace otherwise I will lose the little thing. Here is a picture of the bizaar.

Tonight Bill O'Riley will be speaking in a place called the Clam Shell. I have made a point to keep this blog apolitical and I plan to keep it that way. All I have to say is that I appreciate him making the effort to visit us over here in Kabul. I will let you know how it goes.
Thanks for reading.

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