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 3, 2008

A Little Nut

"The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before."
-Samuel JohnsonEnglish author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 - 1784)

"What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence."
-Samuel Johnson, Lives of the Poets English author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 - 1784)

"A cucumber should be well-sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out."
-Samuel JohnsonEnglish author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 - 1784)

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
-Martin Luther King Jr.US black civil rights leader & clergyman (1929 - 1968)

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."
-Stanislaw J. Lec Polish writer (1909 - 1966)

"If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it."
-Andy Rooney US news commentator (1919 - )

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."
-Edmund Burke Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)

"The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground...."
-Unknown Quotations by unknown authors

"Think twice before you speak, and then you may be able to say something more insulting than if you spoke right out at once."
-Evan Esar, Esar's Comic Dictionary American Humorist (1899 - 1995)

There is not really a theme to the quotes. I just found them to be either poignant or funny. The title pic was taken by a participant of the last VCR trip. I hope that you have a faster internet connection then I do because I was not able to see the video that went with the slideshow.

Today was a snow day both literally and figuratively. I previously discussed how Capt Traversa, the author of A*W*A*C* blog, described days where recent events effect your ability to move about. He called them snow days. It always makes you a little anxious after any event. Aside from the tragedy of it, it is always important to have a reminder of where you are and how you should always remain vigilant.

I was reading a New York Times article today about Afghan weddings. I provided a link to it. I have always thought that it was interesting how you can drive around Kabul and see a city that is recovering from years of continuous wars and then you see huge beautiful wedding halls every few miles. Here is an example of one. You have to excuse the quality of the picture it was taken from a moving vehicle.

It almost looks like a Vegas-style casino. I am not sure whether or not you can appreciate the size of the building but it is pretty huge. I also am not sure what a Paris wedding is. Maybe they just liked the name.
Weddings are a big deal over here in Kabul. A wedding cost similar to what we would pay in the states. That is actually a lot of money considering most people only make $100-200 dollars per month.
Here is another one.
The culture prevents men and women from dating, so as you could imagine, many of the young men are eager to get married. The problem is, not only does the wedding cost a lot of money, but you also need to give a lot of money to the bride's parents before they will approve it. So, as a result, men have to spend many years saving up so they can afford to get married. That's funny because in the states it is usually the other way around. Just kidding.
Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Nyn said...

I just finished reading 'Kabul Beauty School', a story about an American beautician who came to Kabul on a good will journey, and ended up opening a beauty school for women to help them earn money and support their families and themselves. It talked about several weddings in the book, and I was really surprised at how big of a deal it is. No dating, men and women in seperate parts of the building, the money spent, etc. WOW! And the dowry for women? Huge. Such a different culture from ours, but fascinating just the same. Thanks for sharing your glimpses here of it.