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

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Happy New Years

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
Oprah Winfrey, O MagazineUS actress & television talk show host (1954 - )

Happy New years! It was business as usual at the clinic. They received a bunch of new supplies today. The ER is starting to to look like a real ER. It is unfortunate that things tend to disappear if they are not locked up so the ER doctor made sure to put everything away under lock and key right after he received them.

The Physical Therapist was excited to see me. He asked me to come his office so I could see the patient that he was taking care of. He showed me a patient that had his arm inside of a tunnel with a UV light inside. He said that the patient was healing from a fracture and that the machine was suppose to help with healing. When I first saw it my first reaction was disbelief. Then I thought about it some more. I bet that it was commonly used in the 60s or 70s, like a lot of other equipment that they are still using. I would not be surprised to see an iron lung in one of the rooms.

We were low on interpreters so I had to use on of the doctor's kids that spoke pretty good English. He is pretty sharp for his age but I do not think that he had the whole interpreter thing down. The OB doctor wanted to know what had happened to her computer because it was missing. I looked at the child and I said, "Where did the computer go?" He looked at me back and said, "I don't know." Then I said, "No, ask her what happened to the computer." Then the OB doctor would answer me back, "What happened to the computer?" It basically was a three-way conversation that went on for 5 minutes where we all we asking each other where the computer went from English to Dari then back to English.

I was walking down the stairs when I saw an elderly lady carrying a heavy box down the stairs. I asked if I could carry it for her. It was funny, but at the same time a little depressing, because the box was too heavy for me to carry own my own. I had to ask her for help. Even the elderly over her are pretty darn tough.

I took a look at what was inside the box. It looked like a bunch of old, rusty, and dirty metal devices. I took a closer look and I realized that it was a bunch of external fixators. I asked her where she was going with them and she told me that she was going outside so she could clean them with a hose.
Today is Dr. Massoud's last day. It is a big loss for us because he is a great interpreter. He is also really great at helping me get photos and videos to post onto my blog. Like all interpreters, he is moving to the U.S. for a better life. He will be moving to Indiana. He is also a doctor but the degree will not be of much use in the U.S.. I am afraid that he will be in for a challenging next couple of years until he can get established. I will try and keep in email contact just to see what he is up to when I get back. He gave me a bunch of great videos that I plan to post tomorrow.