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.


Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Friday, March 14, 2008

Behave Like a Duck

Always behave like a duck - keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath.
Jacob Braude

All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience.
Henry MillerUS author (1891 - 1980)

Be life long or short, its completeness depends on what it was lived for.
David Starr JordanUS biologist, educator, & ichthyologist (1851 - 1931)

I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
Kahlil GibranLebanese artist & poet in US (1883 - 1931)

You teach best what you most need to learn.
Richard Bach

That last quote is very fitting because I am relearning how to place chest tubes so I can teach it tomorrow. It is a little challenging when you are a Family Practice doctor and are having to train doctors who mainly see war injuries. I will be happy to get back to high cholesterol and low back pain when I go home.

I was talking with one of the patients that was brought in yesterday evening. He said that he was with a group of people that were ambushed by the Taliban. He was the only survivor out of 8 people. He appeared to be handling it very well. I am not sure that I would have the same calm demeanor under the same circumstances.

The hospital is getting very busy. I am trying to be like the duck in the quote. There is just so much that needs to be fixed and a lot of it is beyond my scope of practice.

I can not take credit for any of the new photos. They were all taken by participants of the last VCR trip. I was not able to attend it. They did a lot of good for some very poor people. The conditions that they live in is just heart breaking. You can see from some of the pictures that they were able to give new shoes out to some children.

Somebody asked me if they should still send blankets and other stuff. The answer is yes. I will post a little blurb about the VCR program and include their address at the end. It is probably better if you start sending stuff directly to them now since I am nearing the end of the deployment.

The Camp Eggers Volunteer Community Relations (VCR) program enhances the partnership with the people of Afghanistan while providing a venue for US and Coalition troops to assist others. Through this program, Camp Eggers VCR volunteers interact with local nationals at various locations in the Kabul area, including schools, orphanages, medical centers and Internally Displaced Persons camps. The Afghan people in these locations are not as fortunate as we are and could greatly benefit from your support to improve their quality of life.

The VCR program is also involved with forwarding items to US service members located at smaller forward operating bases (FOBs) and other locations that may not have the PX facilities that most of the larger camps have.

CSTC-A, Pool House
APO, AE 09356

Thanks for reading.