Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And the Winner is....

Afghanistan! It seems "the powers that be" think I’ll be best utilized training the Afghan Army rather than the Iraqi Army. I’ll most likely be deploying sometime between 9-20 June…details not yet ironed out. Late breaking update! I fly out on 25 June, so that gives me a little more time to get affairs in order. OK, when working with the Army, one gets accustomed to change. Change number 1: Deployment now 18 June...a little less time to get things in order. The most I can say is that I’ll primarily be at the Afghan Army Headquarters in Kabul…most of the time.

On the plus side, I get to see a country which I have not yet seen. I love adding to my country list.

On the downside, I have to pick up another two languages. Ok, in some respects that can be viewed as a plus. If I was fluent in all the languages with which I have familiarity, I’d be really valuable. Still, I manage to “get around” ok in several languages, especially once immersed in the environment, so I enjoy the new challenge.

After weeks of Arabic refresher, the last two weeks of which seriously diverted me from other endeavors, I am now immersed in the Defense Language Institute Pashto and Dari language courses. This is a three week dump, at the end of which I should be able to ask for mustard on my shoe in near native fluency! That means I will not be doing much in the way of writing prior to my deployment, but I’ll try to put in short lurks with wee comments at least on all my favorite blogs and an occasional update here.

A nice thing about Pashto is that since it is an Indo-European language, it has some connection to English. Dari has more differences from English, but has similarity to Pashto, so learning both at the same time isn't too bad. In fact, the Pashto word for “passport” is “passport”. So now you all know at least one Pashto word!