Sand Through My Toes

My big adventure in the sand

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Friendly Faces for Feeding Time…..

 

Christmas could not have been complete without all the hard work from my favorite people at the dining facility!  The workers at the DFAC put in 14 hour days, six days a week, and smile the entire time they are there.  Well, part of it might have to do with the friendly patrons that greet them so excitedly every day they come for their lunch and dinner (yes, of course, those patrons would be Francine and I!)  Below you can see the big smiles of those that serve up our meals to us — tasty lobster, shrimp, and steak on Fridays and if I am lucky, grilled cheese on Wednesdays!  Better yet, the grill guy knowing that I appreciate my onions grilled for my cheeseburger and when he sees me waiting in line, he starts grilling them up until it’s my turn!!!  Oh the joys of knowing what will be on the menu week in and week out — and people wonder why we end up at the Italian pizzeria every once in a while!

Plus, forgot to post the pic of my bedroom door — a few of the greeting cards received to help make my “bunk” feel like my home in Wiesbaden!  Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!

Pic 1 – My bedroom door;  Pic 2 — Thanks for the sparkling wine guys;  Pic 3  — Francine and I with my favorite grill guy;  Pic 4 —  The dessert guy (always ready with an oatmeal raisin cookie) and the one who is always asking about Rambo  🙂

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Christmas in Shindand

 

Charlie Brown TreeOne would think that being in a Muslim country that it would be difficult to celebrate Christmas –well, thanks to family and friends, the thought didn’t even cross my mind!  My fabulous Mom started off the holiday season by sending me a lovely Charlie Brown Tree with my own mini stocking, that I just love, and then wonderful friends from Germany sent a lighted tree that joined the other.  Then every few days an email would come from the Air Force mailman that I have a package to pick up at the post office trailer!  Did I ever mention that I love mail? Any who, presents arrived and helped to keep the Charlie Brown tree and the regular tree company!

After having a tasty Christmas lunch at the DFAC, yes we had lobster tails with sparkling red wine :-(, we all loaded up into the suburban and made our way back to the compound.  First though, we had to make sure at all the security check points the guards enjoyed a traditional candy cane —  from their inquisitive stares, the jury is still out!!  Arrived to our quarters and Francine and I gathered around our trees and celebrated Xmas!  Sorry to say that we didn’t participate in the singing of Xmas carols but we did listen to a little Nat King Cole…..

Thank you to everyone who helped make this Christmas away from family and friends a whole lot easier!

Merry Christmas from the Sands of Afghanistan!!  Thinking of all of you…….


Charlie Brown/Mini Tree
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Our Door Our stockings

So Proud …. 14 Future Pilots!!

I am not sure if it is the Ticonderoga Testing Pencil, the long days of teaching, the English immersion 24 – 7 with access to the teachers as they walk to and fro from the bathroom, eating in the DFAC, or just sitting on the bench in the courtyard, and/or the hard work put forth by the students that want to fly and improve their country that had 14 students receiving their English Language Completion certificates at graduation!!  Another successful group of future pilots are on their way and are now attending pilot training with the military and some contractors, too!!

For the next three months, 4 DoDEA teachers and 2 DLI Instructors will do their best to ensure that another group of wanna be pilots will graduate and walk the stage in early March to receive their diploma!   With the success rate that we have had, we expect anywhere between 10 – 14 to graduate once again — there are 38 students in the program ranging from 40 – 70 on the English proficiency exam, with 80 being the magic number to graduate!   Thank goodness I still have Ticonderoga’s to pass out on test day!! 🙂

Here are some pics with the students — some graduates, some still in the program!  In my handwritten journal, “Only This Shit can Happen Here” has many funny stories about some of the students that will need to be shared over a few beers and not here! Thank goodness the abundance of pics will be able to accompany the stories…….

 

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