Monday, June 11, 2007

One month in

It's hard to believe I've only been here a month. Seems like the office, my apartment and Pittsburgh was so long ago. My life has been reduced to a 1 km radius circle where I eat, sleep, work (ok, I go much further than that when I run). I sit here on my bed, with four plywood partitions, all 4 in touching distance, in my plywood hut, with everything I own within 5' of me, and it seems like a long time ago I was in my nice apartment, a formal gala, or even being served wine by a pretty Nepali stewardess.

But I do like it here. I'm the only civilian in my group, which makes for occasional which-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others moments. Shopping is very curtailed, when you have one small store to shop. (oh, an occasional bazaar) The odd silly rule rears its head every now and then.

But mostly we are doing our jobs. And wanting to do them well, knowing that others are relying on us and making decisions based on the things we put out. Some frustrations, but people here do want to do-the-right-thing. When you spend 15 hours a day with basically the same people, it helps that we all get along, even the abrasive, abusive and obnoxious one.

There are a lot of life lessons that get passed on here. Some of it is just by overhearing. There is a phone we can use to make morale calls home, so we can listen to each other talk to spouse, kids, SO. Of course, we are calling late in the day, and the fortunate one getting called is being called in the morning. There is talk about the joys and problems of raising kids, keeping marriages afloat, past marriages that failed, sons and daughters growing into men and women. And the older ones training the younger ones (which still includes me) of the ways of life.

Let's see, my main recreational activity here is running in the morning. One sight that I'll remember is the korean contingent here. Every morning, they get out in the courtyard of their camp. Sing the national anthem, and go out on a formation run, chanting in korean the whole time. Reminds me of asian schools. Except the run to a cadence is a bit more grown up.
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