Monday, July 26, 2010

Afghanistan Day 65: From Bala Hissar (July 26)

So I convinced a guard from the Army fort Bala Hissar to allow me to photograph him thru the bomb-holes in the rusted out old tank.  It took several attempts for him to keep a straight face- he thought I was crazy and he kept giggling from being shy. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Afghanistan Day 64: NMAA (July 24)

I added student enrollment number, english training description.  If I could figure out how to upload images, I'd add a bunch to Wikipedia.  I figured out how to upload to "commons" but then I don't know how to get it embedded in articles.  Any thoughts?

Afghanistan Day 64: Kabul (July 24)

I don't know why this was such an item of fascination for me at the visit to American University Kabul, but I was really curious about the girls locker room at the gym.  Its a random thing to photograph, I am well aware.  Still, here they are:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Afghanistan Day 61: Kabul (july 22)

Today I went on a humanitarian aid mission to the girls school.

the library for 4 thousand girls

someone sent 500 dollars so we could buy microscopes and wallcharts to set up a science lab for the school.  Most of the girls are poor- so poor they cannot even buy a pencil. 
camera shy 8th grade class...
The chalkboard in their classroom.

After that we went to the Afghan Fort, Bala Hissar.  You can read about the history on wikipedia:

After that we stopped at a British Cemetery, Sherpur Cantonment Cemetery.  This burial ground contains the memorials of many, and it is a quiet sweet spot of repose.  We only were there for a few moments, I wish I could have explored more deeply (you know me and headstones).  Still, it was a great glimpse.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Afghanistan Day 60: NMAA and KAIA (July 21 but for July 7-15)

Site Survey, American University Kabul
My lunch- Awesome floaty-flesh fruit juice.  LOVE IT.

Library door- made in country by Noristani people. 

Inside the library.  They have an automated catalog, so I learned all about it to help with my new library @ NMAA.  :D  
Gym tour!
An ambitious van with an optomistic driver takes on a dirt pile without even seeing what was on the other side....
And gets stuck, which luckily prevents him from crashing into a potentially deep pit filled with waste water and rocks. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Afghanistan Day 59: NMAA and KAIA (July 20 but for July 7-15)

Me in a burka in uniform. 

The Col's lunch at American University site survey visit.  Fun!

on the way home from American University, Kabul.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Afghanistan Day 58: NMAA and KAIA (July 19)

In the last two weeks I have been working fast and furiously at NMAA.  This is my primary assignment currently.  NMAA is the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, which is the Afghan version of West Point.  I have been working on standing up a new degree in English, supporting the expansion of English instruction as the program scales up to include 2200 students, creating an English library, addressing issues of learning management and automation, helping people plan and prepare for female students and faculty increasing rapidly in the next two years,  testing up the senior English class, developing and executing teacher training/ planning instructor development programs, and still working on the new book: Ground Zero.  I work all day long, literally, and there is just never enough time in the day. 

Last night was the first time in country that I've been able to go to the gym.  It was wonderful.  It's 9:34 pm and I am taking my first break of the day since I began working at 6:30 this morning. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Afghanistan Day 49: KAIA/NMAA (July 10)

NMAA Mentor Range Training, June 27.  This is my first time on burst on M4, tearing it up!

Afghan sweet treat, sort of a cross between the texture of marizpan and fudge.  Super rich and delicious!

Afghanistan Day 48: Camp Dogan (July 9)

Went to the Turkish base.  It was really delightful.
 Cute little Bazar.  Fun! 

My new Turkish Battle Buddy. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Afghanistan Day 45: Kaia (july 6) Catching up on Photos

The door to no-where at Camp Eggers

A painting was made specially for me.  The women are holding a bird "Totee" which is the closest translation of my name.  The painter is a teenager.  The family is trying to get visas to the US.  The boy would like to study painting in New York.  

My mom wanted to see my bed at the nicer base.  Everyone envies my set up.  Planning ahead pays off.
Mandatory Mentor Team Training Day (I got to go shooting with the boys from west point).

This target where the finger is pointing is me on burst for the first time.  I did better than everyone else.  I get to have ego about that.  
Shooting range at KMTC.

Thumb-where over the KAIA after the rain.

Parra gets inspired at Moorehead.
It has LEGS!
Candies a student brought us from Herot.  Sorta like toffee, but brittle. 
Going Iranian.  Gotta be prepared to blend in.