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

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Drop of Water Within a Rose

"The fields were fruitful and starving men moved on the roads. The granaries were full and the children of the poor grew up rachitic."
John SteinbeckUS novelist (1902 - 1968)

That quote reminded me of Kabul. I attached a link if you wanted to read more about rickets. In Kabul you can see prosperity popping up all around but you also see a lot of people being left behind.

We went to a place where we shipped some medical equipment downrange. We were able to see breathtaking views of Kabul. The city is surrounded by some very large mountains.

Seeing the mountains reminded me of a poem that I read not too long ago. I read it on the American International School of Kabul website. I also got the title pic from there.
Kabul-- "A poetic reading of the name was composed by Mahmud Tarzi in a couplet which pays tribute to this city nestled within the mountains. In Persian, Kabul is written with the letters KABL. The K with slight modification may become a G which together with the final L forms gul, the word for rose. The intermediate AB means water. Thus it may be written:

"If you ask me the name of my abode; It is a drop of water within a rose."

On the way home we encountered child beggars. It is difficult site to get used to seeing them. It is pretty cold out there and these kids should be in school, not begging for change.

Thanks for reading.

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