Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Tomorrow will be the four month mark, that is, four months that we have been in Afghanistan. When I sit down and think about it time has been going by pretty fast. It doesn’t seem like it was four months ago that I sat down to write the first blog entry from Bagram. Time may be moving, party because we are staying busy during the peak of the construction season. However, I think that it is going by so fast because we all have got in to some sort of a rhythm. When we first got here, the learning curve was very steep, which helped the time go by. Now everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, and everything seems to fit in to place and just roll along.

Milestones like this allow an opportunity to look back at where I was and what I was thinking at the beginning, and index that against my current state of mind. Back in February I was pretty excited to get over here and start the work that I had volunteered to do. But with various road blocks along the way, not the least of which was losing two teammates to an IED, it is hard to regain that same excitement and motivation. More and more my attitude is turning from excitement about helping people who really need help, to watching the clock and counting the days. Either way, it is proof that time can fly, even if you’re not having all that much fun.

Thank you and God Bless.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back In the Swing

We have all started to get back to the mission we were sent here to do. With harder times behind us, the missions have started rolling again with a renewed sense of purpose.

In the past week I went on three missions to visit a total of six schools and one hospital. One of the schools helped to remind all of us just why we are here. It was a boys and girls school near Gardez. The Taliban had bombed the girls’ wing at night and destroyed it. Their cowardly attempt to disrupt the young girls’ education failed, as instead of sending them home, the teachers have decided to make all classes coed.

In Afghanistan it is not rare to see boys and girls separated in school and it is becoming more common to see a building built by the Americans become a target of a bombing, even if that building is an elementary school. However, what they choose to do in the face of such hate is both uncommon and encouraging.

Thank you and God Bless.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Day

It was just over a week after Memorial Day, a day when the country pauses to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. On that day we lost two soldiers to a cowardly roadside bomb. The news reports say the soldiers were out on patrol, but they were really on a mission to help people who are less fortunate than themselves. They were there to help build schools, roads and most of all build hope in a place that doesn’t have much of that. They are heroes.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Depending on the day, I either hate being here or enjoy it, and the work we are doing. Days when people die really suck, so far the Army guys we are here with have lost two guys and our local engineer’s brother was murdered by the Taliban. Good days usually involve trips to schools and seeing happy kids, just being kids even in the middle of a war.

However, good or bad this deployment has given me an opportunity to do some things that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to do. Some aren’t so good, like 4 hour long convoys over the mountains of Afghanistan. I will never complain about a long car trip again. Some are good, like working on engineering projects that a Civil Engineer wouldn’t normally work on. Most notably is the combined solar and wind power plant designs that I have been working on with the Paktya Director of Power. Meeting local Afghans has been another positive outcome of being here. Whether it’s our local engineer, other locals that work on the FOB, or the contractors that build our projects, each of them has helped to give me a little better world view.

Good or bad they are all opportunities to learn something new, meet new people, or just appreciate a simple car ride a little more.

Thank you and God Bless.