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

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Snowball Fights

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
-Herodotus, Inscription, New York City Post Office, adapted from Herodotus Greek historian & traveler (484 BC - 430 BC)

"I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down."
Mitch HedbergAmerican comedian (1968 - 2005)
"There are fine things which you mean to do some day, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is surely yours is the present, hence this is the time to speak the word of appreciation and sympathy, to do the generous deed, to forgive the fault of a thoughtless friend, to sacrifice self a little more for others. Today is the day in which to express your noblest qualities of mind and heart, to do at least one worthy thing which you have long postponed, and to use your God-given abilities for the enrichment of someone less fortunate. Today you can make your life - significant and worthwhile. The present is yours to do with as you will."
-Grenville Kleiser

"The falling drops at last will wear the stone."
-Lucretius Roman Epicurean poet, philosopher, & scientist (96 BC - 55 BC)

"The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball."
-Doug Larson

The roads were pretty icy today, but like the postmen in the quote, it did not stop us from the "swift completion of [our] appointed rounds. "

I am always amazed at the diversity of medical problems that come in through the ER. Imagine having a regular ER with its fractures and patients with chest pain, now add patients that have war injuries, then add post operative follow-up patients, then add pediatrics well-child visits, then add criminals and prisoners. Literally, anything could walk through the door at any minute. One gentleman was shoveling snow off the top of his roof and slipped and landed on his face and arm. He had a really good fracture.

A criminal was brought in that had pretty impressive injuries over his lower extremities possibly caused by a baton. A father brought in an 18 month-old girl that had not reached her walking milestone. A women that had just had a hysterectomy came in to get her stitches removed.

Upstairs I spoke with one of the prisoners that was hospitalized for chest pain. Her surprising spoke very good English. I have come to the conclusion that I would be a very poor judge because I tend to believe everything people tell me. Of course, everyone says that they are innocent and wrongly accused. I do not envy the judge that has to decide innocence or guilt. We had a long discussion about his heart condition. I was glad to see that he was getting appropriate care just like any other patient would have received. Once patients walk through the doors of a hospital there are no longer good guys or bad guys, only patients. Some of them just so happen to have handcuffs on.

For some reason there were a lot of spontaneous snowball fights today. I am not sure what it is about the snow over here but I am able to make the perfect snowball. I was walking with one of the contractors, engrossed in an important conversation, when all of the sudden, "Wham-o!" A snowball got me right in the face. It was pretty funny. I was able to deliver my revenge after dinner with a sneak attack of my own.

Thanks for reading.

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