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, March 20, 2008

Italian Embassy

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
-
Albert EinsteinUS (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

"If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years."
-
Bertrand RussellBritish author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)

"Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself."
-
Og Mandino(1923 - 1996)
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Today we worked a half day and tomorrow we have the day off. The only good part of having a day off is I am able to sleep in. Other then that, I actually do not like them very much because the day tends to drag. It is not like I can spend the time with my family and escape this place. The days go by much faster when I am working at the clinic. I mentioned it a few days ago that I was going to have a very busy week. I was suppose to take a trip but it ended up getting canceled at the last minute.
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Adam and I went to the Italian Embassy for the midnight mass (it actually was at 9:00pm). There were a couple of news cameras there. I think because the Prime Minister is in town. At the end of the mass the priest asked everyone to say Merry Christmas in their native tongue. 15 people must have come up to the podium. They were from all different parts of the world. It was really fascinating to see and hear them all. At the end of the mass the priest announced that the Ambassador invited the entire congregation back to his home for pastries and chocolate milk. After he said this the congregation let out an, "Ahhh." Apparently, it is considered a big deal for the Ambassador to open up the doors of his home to guests. I felt very lucky that I was able to be a part of it. Take a look at some of the pictures.
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Here is the outside of the church.
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Here is the inside of the Embassy.
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I told Adam that I wanted to meet the Ambassador earlier in the night. A little latter we were standing by the large table full of pastries enjoying a cup of very thick chocolate milk (I should say chocolate pudding) and Adam asked, "Where is the Ambassador anyways?" I whispered into Adam's ear that he was standing right next to us. He immediately grabbed my camera and tapped the Ambassador on the shoulder and asked if he could take a picture with me. It was pretty funny. The Ambassador was very friendly. We had a short conversation and he asked if we had seen his plane. I said that I had not. He told us to make sure we take a look at it before we left. Here it is. I assume it is very old.
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We gave the priest a ride over to Camp Eggers because he had to give the real midnight mass over at Eggers.
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Thanks for reading.

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