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, February 19, 2008

Perfectly Useless

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark would burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
Jack London

Dr. Miller says we are pessimistic because life seems like a very bad, very screwed-up film. If you ask "What the hell is wrong with the projector?" and go up to the control room, you find it's empty. You are the projectionist, and you should have been up there all the time.
Colin Wilson

During the great storms of our lives we imitate those captains who jettison their weightiest cargo.
Honore de Balzac

I have a most peaceable disposition. My desires are for a modest hut, a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, very fresh milk and butter, flowers in front of my window and a few pretty trees by my door. And should the good Lord wish to make me really happy, he will allow me the pleasure of seeing about six or seven of my enemies hanged upon those trees.
Heinrich Heine

Do you remember how slowly the days passed when you were a child? An 80-mile car trip seemed endless. It took forever for summer to come. When it finally did, by late-July, summer seemed interminable. Basic arithmetic reveals that for a two-year old, the next year will represent 33% of her life thus far, whereas for a 19-year old, the next year represents 5%, and for a 39 year-old, only 2.5%...More than anything else, the young child's perceptions influence how she experiences life. She has few markers that delineate the passage of time. On the first of each month, she pays no rent or mortgage. She has no job, and does not commute. She is likely to be regularly clothed, bathed, and cared for. The child arises each day with no agenda, no "to do" list. She experiences hunger, irritation, and sleepiness. She has some favorite activities -- her major activity is play. Each day brings new wonders... Meanwhile, she has no report to finish, no checkbook to balance, no across-town meetings. She does not even wear a watch.Your life is a bit more complicated, and is related increasingly to how society has become more complex. Independent of who you are or what you do for a living, chances are that you're busy, perhaps extremely busy, and are a part of our active, generally hard-working population.If you continually feel pressured, don't take it personally. You are experiencing the same dilemma as millions of other people, and you are part of the most time-pressed society of over-information and communication in history… Few people have what they consider to be breathing space in which to reflect,…truly relax, or simply be.At this moment you are being bombarded on all sides. The "intake overglut" wreaks havoc on the receptive capacities of the unwary. Yet you can break away from the pack that idly ingests the information, noise and garbage that comes its way. Despite the ever-escalating array of obstacles, you can attain breathing space.
Jeff Davidson, [edited passage from] Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society

If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.
-Lin Yutang

I guess I have learned how to live. Today was one of my days off. I spent it organizing my bags and reading. It was very enjoyable.

We celebrated Angela's birthday at the American Embassy. The embassy is a really large and very nice complex. Dinner was delicious.

Another day down. Thanks for reading.

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