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

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

VCR Trip

"To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold."

-Archibald MacLeishUS administrator, dramatist, & poet (1892 - 1982)

Today I went on a VCR trip. There was a little hang up getting there. The truck that was carrying the styrofoam broke down on the way there. We managed to get it towed back to the base and we were able to carry on with our mission. This was my first trip so I was very curious how it would go. To me it seemed very orderly. The people that organized the trip seemed to really have it down. Seeing how the people lived was really sad. They seemed to be living in old, bombed-out, abandoned buildings. What surprise me most was how the children were all still typical children, happy and playful, despite all of the harsh conditions.






I wanted to show you a few interesting features of the village. Here is a "home" which is basically a small room where 10 people stay. In order to keep warm at night they all sleep under a coffee table that has a blanket on top. Under the table is a pan with some coal. I could not imagine having to sleep like that.



Here is the back side of a "bathroom" located in a different home. Of course, there is no running water or electricity in any of the homes.


One of the women made chai for us. I was a little hesitant to accept it at first because I was not sure where they got the water from. I then thought about all of the little buggers running around, and I reasoned, if they can drink it then so can I.



Chickens and goats were walking around freely.



Take a look at this home. They placed a ladder on the side of the bombed-out building. I bet it is considered to be one of the nicer homes comparatively speaking.



They passed out large bags of coal, cloths, and food.



I thought that this girl was interesting and sad at the same time. It looks like she opened up a ball point pen and tried to use the ink as lipstick.



This is a great pic. That is a 2 star General lugging cloths, coal, and food in a wheel barrel up a hill. This picture really says it all.


Thanks for reading.

7 comments:

Susan said...

Thank you for the update and the pictures.

Kristen in AZ said...

Love the song that plays now when the page loads. Amazing photos of the VCR trip. I can't imagine how life changing a deployment to Kabul must be. We really do have it too easy here.

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