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, March 10, 2008

Lighting A Fire

"The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose."
Heda Bejar

"That best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love."
William WordsworthEnglish poet (1770 - 1850)

"The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."
William JamesUS Pragmatist philosopher & psychologist (1842 - 1910)

"It had only been my repeated experience that when you said to life calmly and firmly... 'I trust you; do what you must,' life had an uncanny way of responding to your need."
Olga Ilyin

"Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing."
Robert BenchleyUS actor, author, & humorist (1889 - 1945)

"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
Harold Wilson(1916 - 1995)

"Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."
VoltaireFrench author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)

"Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there."
Marcus Aurelius AntoninusRoman Emperor, A.D. 161-180 (121 AD - 180 AD)

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
Thomas PaineUS patriot & political philosopher (1737 - 1809)

Those are all great words to live by. I think that I am starting to get a little carried away with the quotes. It is just such an enjoyable activity searching for them every night. They are like life's little instruction manual or someone really smart giving you some really good advice.

I posted a new slide show. I had such a great response from the last one that I decided to do another one. The photos were all taken by people who participated in the last VCR trip. I unfortunately can not take credit for any of them. Speaking of photos, I have built up enough donations for the turps (interpreters) to go on a other one of their missions. Along with the donations also went my camera so I will be photoless these next couple of days until they return. I really appreciate receiving all of the donations, but at the same time, it is really nice getting rid of that large box that was occupying a large portion of my room.

Today we did not have a lot of time at the clinic because we had to stop by the National Military Hospital and pick up some supplies. I fortunately was able to make up for the lost time. I think that it was some of the most productive 60 minutes that I have had yet. I went back to the OB department and I was a little disappointed to see that nothing had been done. Being a mentor also means that you have to be a motivator. With a little positive encouragement we were able to move 2 beds for ladies to sleep on after they deliver and 2 exam tables that we can use for deliveries. We just might have everything ready in time for for the deliveries. I will keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.