Sand Through My Toes

My big adventure in the sand

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Now I lay me down to sleep…..

Although it isn’t the comfort of my bed in WI, I have my own personal space due to plywood put up in between the four bedrooms in my “efficiency” living quarters. ūüôā ¬†As of now, I have two wonderful roommates — one a teacher from Korea and the other a British helicopter pilot, which means we actually have the 4th bedroom converted into a “living room”. ¬†A bit scarce on the decor but at least I do have a lovely window treatment to accentuate the aluminum foil held up by duct tape in my window. ¬†The gal living here before me knew how to make the place feel like home. ūüôā ¬†I have received a few items from ¬†my sister Natty (okay, Natalie) and Jennifer — gotta love MPS — and now have my Gator fleece blanket on my bed plus lots of movies from Nat to watch on my computer. ¬†Did I mention that there isn’t a TV in our living room? ¬†Something to ponder though: ¬†the helicopter pilots that live on the compound have offered to splice their cable wire for us if we ever do get a television.. football season is quickly approaching!! ¬†What to do, what to do??

Laura-san, if you felt the need to make a patriotic quilt for me to hang on my plywood, I promise that it wouldn’t get left behind and it would make it in the suitcase home :-). Nat sent great movies and stuff for my what I do call my classroom, and ¬†Jennifer sent a calendar and of course, I do have my Bunny pic taped to my “closet” so I know he is always with me!

Tonight is “20 minute movie clip” night and then a 20 minute discussion about the clip. ¬†I’ll be back soon as Friday is my day off and I’ll be able to share more then….. ¬† Have a good one!

sleepy head

Krista, Love jKl’s Advice

Yes, jKl has issues and those that know me very well know that I too may have some issues when it comes to cleanliness! ¬†But let me tell you, jKl gave the best advice knowing that we share a common issue — when you are traveling from FOB to FOB, be sure to check out the latrine cleaning schedule! ¬†My gosh, was he right on target with the intel! ¬†As I went from Kuwait to Bagram to Kabul to Camp Eggers to Camp Morehead back to Eggers and finally, at my new home, the latrine cleaning schedule came in handy! ¬†Although the pics below were from the same latrine (not where I am now), the main door and then the entrance into the latrine, well, let’s just say some days I was right on and others, well…. ¬†it was a bit dicey! ¬†Thank goodness for croc flip flops that wash nicely! ¬†I am now finally able to enjoy a latrine that is indoors, with actual doors that lock on the toilet and shower area, and not just a curtain that sways in the wind and tries to attach itself to my body when I am showering — my gosh, I don’t like that!!!!!!

Krista, please give jKl a big hug for the intel!

My Teacher, My Target

Here I am ¬†with my teacher and my target! ¬†Yes, his thumb and my pointer finger are covering the two shots that went outside the small black target. ¬†But, the second pic shows how large the grey circles are — only six to a page, where my black circles were 12 to a page! ¬†Ah, so damn proud! ¬†Ladies, check out the other instructor over my teacher’s left shoulder…. ¬†couldn’t crop that arse out of the photo!!

Equal Height, Equal Light …

….one of the many mantras learned from the Spec Op’s hotties during weapon training! ¬†Tap and rack was another that we practiced quite a bit too and during that exercise, ouch, I tapped great but fumbled on my 10th rack and caught my skin :-)…. ¬† After three days of learning valuable information, my group of eight competed in a competition. I must admit that my teacher said that I was a very good student and was able to hold my own, so he bet one of his other ¬†hotties 20 bucks that I would be able to beat out his pupil in the “15 shots into the hole” competition. Well, all were given a target with 6 numbered ¬†grey circles on it. Paul and I were given a target with 12 smaller black circles, no numbers, and my spec ops teacher said, you see where I put the X, I want you to shoot right there! ¬†OH MY GOSH! ¬†This is pressure! ¬†The grey circles wouldn’t be a problem….. ¬†I already accomplished that while shooting around earlier in the day! ¬†NOW, 20 bucks is on the line and I have to win! ¬†Well, there happened to be three winners from our group of eight b/c we all shot 15 out of 15 in our circles! ¬†Paul hit his small black target all 15 times, Francine hit her grey target 15 times, and well, I won by default too b/c I shot 13/15 on the small black circles but when placed over the size of the grey circle, well, 15/15! ¬†I was a winner too!! ¬†We all received a patch from the special op’s guys and also received an individual patch from our teacher that only they wear on missions! ¬†Over all, extremely cool!

Okay, have been trying for over 30 minutes to upload ONE picture…internet is a bit slow right now..I”ll try again and just send pic!!

Love thy neighbor..

to the North! ¬†Yes, Canada! ¬†Spent the last three days at a camp outside of Kabul with the Canadian Special Forces and one Army Special Forces hottie! ¬†I believe ¬†in order to be a special ops guy, it is a prerequisite to be smokin’ hot and have a kick ass personality, with a body to boot! ¬† ¬†Eye candy for days, and days, and days, and days. ¬†Spent 4 hours per day becoming one with my weapon. ¬†It is just an extension of my body and a tool to use for my safety, if need be! ¬†The training was phenomenal and the guys were patient with all of us! Smokin’ hot or what???

Chunk, Hunk, or Monk?

Wow, who would you be if  you were away from home for a year?  We were given three options and were to think about what we would become while on this assignment.

Chunk — ahh, there are great smelling desserts on the cart; how about a midnight snack, chow hall open 24 hours

Hunk — release¬†a¬†bit of stress, enjoy time with folks in a new environment and get yourself buff

Monk — quiet time in the rack with a movie and/or a good book (well, All Fifty Shades are almost completed)

I know what I’ll do but what would you do??

Finally, some down time!

I am still here sitting at Camp Eggers waiting for the¬†other¬†eight teachers to arrive¬†that opted not to get on the flight the six of us did in the first place.¬† So, we have some down time.¬†ūüôā ¬†We checked out the Tourist Info Office and well, we can go to MWR, play pool, drink coffee, use the gym, watch a movie…but for right now, no tours outside the wire!¬† ūüôā¬† Well, I opted to update my blog and actually respond to some posts.¬† It is difficult to read Fifty Shades on my iPad when the battery is at 0% so updating it will be!

We had to meet this morning at 8:00 with our boss and it was determined we would meet again after lunch to discuss the afternoon game plan and the whereabouts of the others. Hopefully they arrive tonight and we’ll begin our two days of training.¬† Once training is complete, we will hopefully receive our assignments.¬† At this time, nothing is in stone and it could change at a moments notice.¬†

I don’t have phone information just yet as I have to wait until I get to my permanent base to determine SIM card purchase, new phone and SIM card purchase, or just stick with skype!¬† Just kidding, I can’t wait to be able to call and text!¬† My thumbs are twitching to use the keypad.¬†

Enjoy your Thursday…

Monstrosity of an Aircraft to Kabul

Oh my gosh!¬† I can’t even begin to explain how BIG the C17 is on the inside let alone the looks of it from the outside!¬† HUGE doesn’t even begin to describe it!¬† Electrical wires everywhere, pallets with stuff piled high — wrapped in cellophane, then strapped down to the palate, loaded and locked into place as to ensure a safe flight for the passengers!¬† I loved every minute of the 34 min flight to my next location — Kabul.¬† Yes, when the air force gentleman comes on the speaker (don’t know his rank, sorry) to alert us that the red lights inside the cabin indicate that we are entering a combat zone (really now!) and there will be no movement throughout the cabin (who is getting up anyhow — everyone is sleeping b/c we are exhausted from the journey that began the night before at 11:00 pm) and we’ll be on the ground shortly — ah yes, the red lights turn to green which is a great sign – I think I continued breathing at that point (didn’t realize I was holding my breath).¬†

Arrive without a hitch to Kabul and thought that is where we would be staying for the night¬†— nope, always remember that plans change at a moments notice.¬† We have a quick meet and greet, are given our safety brief for travel and what to be on the lookout for while in the convoy, and we are off — yes, with our safety gear in place!¬† (Thank goodness it’s about 30 degrees cooler¬†here than in Kuwait!).¬† We arrive to Camp Eggers after¬†driving the streets of Kabul ¬†(streets of Kabul at a later post) and begin the in-processing!¬† A place to sleep is important but hello, can we get a shower and a hot meal… Ah, someone read my mind b/c after only receiving our sleeping quarters brief¬† all that was explained was “this is what will be happening tomorrow”, ¬†now let me show you where the chow hall is located and we’ll eat dinner!¬†

I’ll be back — the camera is calling b/c you won’t believe the pics that I’ll post soon.¬† Just keep in mind, our showers are located¬† “across the plaza” and we were just glad to survive knowing that they truly weren’t gas chambers….

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