Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eight Days and Counting

It’s been a while since I’ve posted or even visited my favorite blogs. I’m counting down. Having recovered from vaccine after-effects, I was ready to get back to the outdoor tasks I need to finish before departure. There was a problem. The “siding guys” are still working, but slower. With temperatures hitting near 100 degrees by noon, I can’t blame them. Job was originally supposed to be done last week. They might be done Friday. So I’m still hamstrung as far as getting and spreading the last seven tons of mulch.

I’ve done some little things…cleaning ductwork out for the AC, replacing filters, planting new rhododendrons in the back yard. I dug up a tulip tree seedling that sprouted by one of the AC units and potted it for the next year. The year will give me time to figure out exactly where we want to plant it. Yet it seems that though I'm getting things checked off the list, the list stays the same size since new things keep getting added.

I’m progressing in Pashto, but I’m a little slower on the Dari. Actually I’ve put more effort into Pashto since it is spoken more frequently in Kabul. I can now count, exchange greetings, ask directions and other rudimentary transactions in nine different languages (including English). A carry-over from Arabic to the Afghan languages is the script. Pashto and Dari use Arabic script, so my Arabic refresher was not a total waste.

Cell phone all set with my Afghan Wireless SIM card and my laptop has just about everything I need to be functional in my “off hours”.

Wife wonders about Oliver. He’s become pretty attached to me over the past year or so and has become my shadow. He listens to me more than anyone, but plays with the wife the most so I think he’ll be fine. Duncan has been through this before and he’s really Deborah’s dog. It seems I always bond with the “troublesome” dogs, while Deborah bonds with the…well…wimpy ones.

I’m breaking in new combat boots so even though temps have been near 100 degrees I’ve been running around in boots. Technology has even changed Army footwear. Stephen Parrish can attest to the discomfort of new combat boots in “the old days”. The newer boots are not only more comfortable right out of the box, but they are MUCH cooler too. Back to work.