Friday, October 29, 2010

Afghanistan Day 160: Kaia

So of course the same pay period that my pay is messed up, my pipes break again in San Antonio.  I've lost track now if this is time number 7 or number 8 since I bought my house.  Needless to say, I am frustrated at the time, expense, and now lack of proximity to such an inconvenient problem. 

I've been cranky about it for a week now, but thankfully I woke up to this update from my mother:
Plumbing is: All under control.  It was not the main pipe leaking but a small crack in a pipe on the house.  Matt, your plumber is going to fix it himself....for free.  He said if there is any other problem with the water main he is going to dig it up and replace the entire pipe with a new material that is more durable and flexible.  He is happy to help you.  Not huge water, just enough to give your lawn a good soaking.  No water in the street.  He will check everything for you.  His dad already went out first thing this morning because Matt was too rushed.  He is trying to help you too.

Thank you Matt & Dad for saving the day.  Hopefully, the missing pay will show up in my account tomorrow.

Being in Afghanistan continually presents new challenges. The other day I discovered just how hard it is to be a vampire in Afghanistan.  First of all, your teeth just never fit right.  Second of all, you just end up drooling everywhere.  Third of all, people totally discriminate against your glow-in-the-dark incisors.  They just stare rudely, as if they've never seen a vampire before.  It's tiring.  

Misc old photos:
After 2 long months, I decided it was time to update my combat pedicure.


Afghanistan Day 160: Kaia

KAIA is an international NATO base.  
We have many countries living on base, either as assignment or as contractors. 
One of the countries responsible for security is Belgium.  They have gate guards that inspect the undercarriage of our transportation for bombs, they make us clear our weapons a billion times a day, and they check our ID cards.  Regularly, I harass the poor guys standing guard because they never give me (or others!) chocolate.  

For a country that is famous for their chocolates, they really should be doing some humanitarian aid.  Seriously, they could solve the war simply by just giving everyone a couple bars now and then.  People would be in better moods, Belgium would be the savior, and they'd get credit for resolving the longest and most enduringly expensive international endeavor of all time.  But no, they keep it. They keep the chocolate all to themselves. Every time they inspect my ID or my van (I drive either a scooby-do van or a silver prado), I think about all the chocolate I could and should be gobbling up.  

So, last week, one of the gaurds had to babysit me at the gate while I waited for a delivery.  I explained once again my Belgian-chocolate-will-save-us theory.  He listened.  He took my information.  I got my delivery and I left and forgot all about it. 

 Then one day, I get a text message about chocolate.  Hans had procured chocolate!!!  So I was summoned to meet Hans outside for the pick-up.  Yey!!!

I believe that Hans could single-handedly save Afghanistan.  Go, Hans, Go!  And THANK YOU! : D

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Afghanistan Day 152: Humanitarian Aid in Kabul

The long-awaited day has come.  Today we took over 275 school kits, backpacks, teacher kits, donated graded readers, 100 beanie babies, candy and other treats to the girls school.  IT WAS AWESOME.  

Thank you to the Headman family and their school, Carol Imhoff, Deb G, the Vargas family, Irene Islin, my family, all the soldier's angles, folks, the Taylor family, and all the others who have supported our efforts thus far. 
Thank you to the US troops who provided time, energy, and security to make this effort possible, and espeically to those in KAIA billeting and Germany who also supported time and again with collection, transportation, and energy.
Thank you for taking this effort seriously and helping make a direct and immediate impact for children in Afghanistan.
These girls are attending class in a building that is under construction while the construction is on-going.  The building was bombed out in the past and UNICEF is funding the restoration.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Afghanistan Day 150 : Humanitarian Aid in Kabul

Morning commute to school. 
I blew the kids kisses, so they ran along next to the car waving and giving us the thumbs-up. 

I LOVE them. 

Random bird on a wall.
Modern gas station.
Horses on the street next to cars.
Wheel barrow in the street next to cars.

Car and horse side by side.

Afghanistan Day 150 : Humanitarian Aid in Kabul

Yesterday, I went on a recon mission to prepare for the big mission to the girls school later this week.  While on the recon mission, I brought them 20 school kits from the Taylor family in Rhode Island.  THANK YOU!
 The morning walk to school.
 making progress on the repairs for the building.  Classes are being conducted inside during all stages of the construction.

Me with the class.  :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Afghanistan Day 145 : NMAA

Today was the last day of a 3 day intensive teacher training course.  I am exhausted and fat (too much pastry!).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Afghanistan Day 143: Kabul

Something GOOD!
  Here are some photos from the recent humanitarian efforts.  Donations of school supplies included many generous packages from our internet supporters (, soldier's angles, etc.) , also shirts from my mom, and  books donated from the elementary school I attended in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  Assembly was completed in large part by time and energy donated by US Air Force volunteers.  My favorite friends from Canada helped me carry about the stuff.  
These are some of the results:

 School kits (enough supplies for 1 year of study).

 Children's books in English. 

 Math supplies (mini- white boards)

Thank you for all that you have done to support the educational efforts of the teachers and schools in Kabul.  Thank you for helping the children of Afghanistan.