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 18, 2008

Move More Then Your Little Finger

"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed."
-Michael Pritchard

According to legend, one day a man was wandering in the desert when he met Fear and Plague. They said they were on their way to a large city where they were going to kill 10,000 people. The man asked Plague if he was going to do all the work. Plague smiled and said, "No, I'll only take care of a few hundred. I'll let my friend Fear do the rest.

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.
Henry James

When a bonsai stops growing, you know it's dead.
Japanese Proverb

We're all fools...all the time. It's just we're a different kind each day. We think, I'm not a fool today. I've learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact we're not perfect and live accordingly.
Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man, "No Particular Night or Morning", 1951

The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that he has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed.Nothing can be guaranteed. Thousand and one are the hazards of the journey, many are the pitfalls - and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell which is its security, it starts moving. Immediately the fight starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very, very soft and dangers will be many.There was no danger for the seed, the seed could have survived for millennia, but for the sprout many are the dangers. But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why. Great is the cross to be carried, but a dream possesses the seed and the seed moves.
Osho [Chandra Mohan Jain], Dang Dang Doko Dang, chapter 4
I have not gotten very many donations for Nazia. That is OK, I am undeterred. If it was easy then it would not be worth doing. I remember when I first started this blog I was excited to have reached just 100 hits. Sometimes things take a little bit of time and persistence. I know that there is someone out there who knows someone that might be willing and able to help her out. A good example is that young child from Iraq that was burned. All it took was one person that knew the right person for him to receive the help and care that he needs.

Right now I am watching my 4-year old daughter through a web cam. She is sending me audibles through yahoo messenger. She is so cute.

When I arrived at the clinic this morning the surgeon found me and told me that he wanted to show me something in his office. He showed me a picture of a tumor that he recently removed. He said that it was a Wilms tumor which meant that it originated in the kidney.

He was very proud of the picture. It is a pretty impressive tumor. I can not believe how someone can walk around with a tumor that size and not have gotten help any earlier. He also showed me a stone that he removed out of a bladder. He displayed it in his cabinet like a souvenir.
It is the size of a potato. I can not believe that that was in someones bladder.
A large part of the problem with the facility is that all of the patients are located upstairs and there are no elevators to transport the patients. Today I saw a family member carrying a patient down the stairs in his arms. The patient had blast injuries over his leg and his foot was amputated.
Walking through the wards is somewhat depressing. You see the worst type of injuries. Gun shot wounds, injuries from land mines, amputations, it reminds me of a movie. It just seems so surreal. There are some bright spots though. Somehow some of the patients that have been there for a while seem to be slowly improving. It is nice to see the progress.
Thanks for reading.

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