Every morning, I trudge my way to the showers. I try to keep track of the number of steps, but I lose count after 56, or at least, I did this morning. I think that’s the highest I’ve gotten so far. The walk is rocky and pulls away my attention; I’ve been wearing my shower shoes out there but I think I’ll need to upgrade from flip flops to Crocs soon. This trek will be a lot rougher in the winter, but for now there’s something weirdly refreshing about being outside first thing in the morning.
The work days are filled with meetings and coordination, my least favorite parts of any job. I’m really just biding my time until things are all hooked up and I can do some real work again. In the meantime, I sneak games of The Sims on my phone under conference tables and dream of sneaky ways to knit with no one noticing.
There’s a routine to this life, a day- in, day- out that is comforting. I don’t get nearly enough time to myself, but I hope to adapt, and steal moments when I can. As we fall into our routines, I’m trying to find ways to fit in the common comforts; yoga classes at the gym, Friday night boxing classes (which is SO on my agenda as soon as my stupid wrist heals up; I’m going tomorrow just to watch), and there’s a massage place that is calling my name, too. Massages! In Afghanistan! Incredible. And cheap, so so cheap: $20 for an hour. For all the things we can’t have here, I am so tickled that there are massage therapists here.
I have more pictures, of course, including possibly even one of myself; images of the base, of three of us smoking shisha this evening, etc. But this is Afghanistan, and the network for the rooms are jammed, so none of that tonight- I’m using a common access terminal in the MWR (Morale, Wellness, and Recreation office). Maybe tomorrow. How often will I say that, huh? Looks like it’ll be pretty regular.
To answer a few of the most frequent questions:
Do you have any fiber out there? Not yet, but I have a box stuffed with fiber and yarn and two spindles that Sam is sending out to me this afternoon- all superwash, so I can make baby clothes and socks out of it. Did I mention the baby clothes? A good friend of mine is pregnant, and I’m already dreaming of EZ Baby Surprise jackets out of handspun. Baby clothes are so damned rewarding.
What do you need? Not too much, thankfully, but thank you so much for asking! The generosity of my friends, family, and the people reading this blog amazes me. I could really, really use Zippo lighter flints, and a calendar to hang on my wall and count off days. Oh- pictures– pictures would be awesome. These four plywood walls are killing me. And sock yarn is ALWAYS welcome. Don’t forget- I’m not alone out here. The boys would always welcome food, if nothing else.
Are you safe? Yes. I am. Honest. I know it’s not the States, and I know there is some risk involved, but this isn’t Kandahar; it’s pretty quiet out here, excluding the flight line, which is full of our planes/ choppers, so you know, it’s not scary noise.
What’s it like? Hot, about 90 degrees Fahrenheit a day. Dry. Dusty, so dusty; by the evening I can feel the dust along my scalp and in the corners of my eyes. Gorgeous, in a strange way. A little like Sierra Vista in Arizona, honestly. If you see Ironman, watch for the scenes labeled "Bagram AB, Afghanistan"— I’m pretty sure that wasn’t filmed here, but it looks the same.
How are you going to watch the new Batman movie? I know. I was worried, too. Thank Whomever for the Friday bazaar, is all I can say. And as soon as it hits DVD, I’m going to own that.
How are you, really? Tired. Tanner, already; I have a total Michael Jackson circa Thriller thing going on where I wear my wrist brace, it’s crazy. Frequently sweaty. Frustrated. Euphoric. Occasionally scared. Excited. Thrilled. Still, surprised to be here. Sad, and missing my family, my friends, my routines, my pets and my spinning wheel and my tumbledown house and Baltimore, all of it. Conflicted.