Friday, January 20, 2012

A Rather Blah Week

When one day is pretty much like the previous one, it makes it hard to find something interesting to write about.  My big thing lately has been health issues.  I've had four colds since the middle of November.  Four very different colds, so they're not the same bug.  It settles in, I feel like crap for a week or so, have a few days where things are normal, and then the Dreaded Post-Nasal Drip starts again.

I felt so bad the other day that I went over to the clinic, convinced that something more insidious was at work.  (I can be a bit of a hypochondriac sometimes, and when I'm not feeling well, I'm a real wuss).  The docs checked me out and gravely informed me that it was "viral".  Translation: it's just a cold, you twit.  But they loaded me up with meds not available in the PX and I feel better today.

I'm not the only one having troubles.  Everybody, it seems, has had at least one cold, and quite a few have had ongoing sniffles or congestion.  We think it's due to the air here at KAF.  It's really dirty, loaded with the talcum-powder-like "moon dust" so prevalent in Afghanistan, as well as gravel dust, diesel exhaust, smoke from the incinerators, particles from the poop ponds, and lots of other really nasty sources.  One guy that I was talking with yesterday felt fine during several weeks out of the country, but within two days of being back at KAF, he was fighting a sore throat.  Those who have been in Iraq think that the air is generally dirtier here.  I believe it.

Things at work have been ... well, unremarkable.  What's there to say?  I go through a hundred or so emails a day.  I talk with State Department guys and military guys about this or that operation.  I research an answer to a particularly vexing question.  Then I go answer a bunch of emails based on the research and discussions with the state or military guys.  I go to the DFAC.  Periodically I go to the gym.  Once a week I'll do my laundry.  Pretty exciting stuff, huh?  And you thought I was riding around in helicopters and MRAPs all the time, meeting Afghan government officials, and drinking chai with Taliban!  No, reality is much more mundane.

But at it's core, it's still a pretty rewarding experience.  I'm playing my small role in trying to make this place functional.  Sometimes, I'm just trying to prevent yet another screwup by somebody who either doesn't know better or (worse) doesn't care.  But it's all striving toward a goal that really needs to be met.  Will we?  Don't know.  But I'm doing what I can.  Despite all these damn colds.

1 comment:

Shea said...

black coal bugers?
if youre in a hut or a chu or something like that and not in a cspan or tent, turn off your ac/ht, take out the filters, spray out about once a week, it helps a little with the soot