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

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


"Familiarity breeds contempt - and children."
Mark Twain, Notebooks (1935)US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)

"To believe is to know you believe, and to know you believe is not to believe."
Jean-Paul SartreFrench author & existentialist philosopher (1905 - 1980)

"Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory."
Albert SchweitzerFrench philosopher & physician (1875 - 1965)

"When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other."
Margaret Wheatley

Today I attended a Morning Report for the first time. For those of you that are not familiar with what a Morning Report is, it is where doctors get together to discuss cases that were admitted overnight and existing patients in the hospital. The person that usually leads the Morning Report is the on call doctor from the night before. They had pretty good attendance. There were probably 25 doctors there. I tried to just be a fly on the wall but I have a feeling that my presence caused them to go into a little more detail then normal.

I spent some time in the lab today. I am so amazed that they are able to do just about every lab all by hand. I asked the lab technician to write out a list of all of the labs that they did expecting a very short list. He must have listed 20 different tests including cholesterol and triglycerides. I was surprised when he said this so I asked him to show me how he does it and he pointed to an area of the lab that had a bunch of tall pipets and a small machine. I will have to watch him perform some of the tests to see how they are done.

I spent some time with the OB doctor. We were able to locate her computer. She had 2 pregnant patients that are due to deliver in a week. I asked her where she was planning to do the deliveries and she said if they come during the day then she will deliver them in the hospital and if it is after hours then they will come to her house. Women are not allowed to drive so they had to both take a taxi to the hospital. The OB doctor lives a half an hour away so her husband will have to drive her to the doctor's home. I could not imagine delivering babies in my home. Homes and apartments are not very big in Kabul. I can imagine sitting at the dinner table and getting a knock at the door and having it be someone that wants you to deliver their baby.

We were able to get an ultrasound on both of the expecting mothers. Their bellies were small for their dates but the ultrasound showed that they were growing just fine. I told the OB doctor that she has a lot of work to do to make the OB department ready. I think that she is waiting for me to do it. There is never any sense of urgency. I do not think that the concept exists over here. There is a common term that is used over here which is, "Inshallah." Translated literally it means, "God willing." It essentially means that whatever happens will happen. It is in God's hands. So when confronted with the inevitable reality that a baby will be delivered in a week and that nothing is ready to prepare for it, the sentiment is "Inshallah."

Today I received the mother of all boxes. It took 2 people just to carry it. It was from reader in Pensacola, Florida. It was filled with children's toys and snacks. It also came with a bunch of whoopee cushions. I will now be spreading hope, freedom, and the tomfoolery of whoopee cushions to the children of Afghanistan. Collecting and sending the donations was a very generous gesture. You know, a lot of people write about how great it is that I am showing the good that the military is doing over here, but I really think that just as important is the good that is coming from people back home. It is the true untold story (along with the forgotten spouses that are left to care for the home). I am just one person and I have received countless boxes from people back home that do not even know me and they are eager to help deployed soldiers and poor Afghans. That last quote is so true, we really are necessary to each other.

Take care.