Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

A little change of pace here today with a Thanksgiving theme, so today I’m posting pictures of our Thanksgiving Feast in Afghanistan. We opted to eat at Camp Dubbs, out near the Afghan Army base where we work, rather than come back into town to fight the crowds on the larger Camp Eggers.

Camp Dubbs is a smaller outpost on the edge of town occupied by French, British, American, Turkish, Italian and Australian troops. As a general rule the smaller mess halls like this one (these days called dining facilities) seem to serve the best food and the staff (always overworked) tend to be a lot friendlier.

KBR is the company contracted to provide the US dining facilities here in Afghanistan. At Camp Dubbs they do a very good job. The pictures below show the great effort they put out on Thanksgiving to bring a little more cheer to all the prisoners soldiers and civilians.

The mood was a little more somber and all flags are at half-mast due to a training accident that occurred earlier in the week. French soldiers setting up training for the Afghans ran into an old Soviet minefield. (Remember, Afghanistan is the most heavily mined country in the world.) Two were wounded in the first blast (one lost a leg below the knee) and the medic who ran to help them was killed when he hit a second mine. The event was more poignant given that these soldiers are rotating back home to France in two weeks.

Before I forget, I've noticed that lots of blogging buddies are listing things they are thankful for. Here's mine: I'm thankful that I haven't been shot or blown up yet. Life is good!

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Waiting for the doors to open.
French, US and Turks chatting in the warm sun.
It was about 60 degrees Thanksgiving afternoon.

OJT for WalMart greeter.
The Command Sergeant Major greeting everyone for dinner.

The Servers.
The Brigade Commander and his staff served up the food.
They didn't work as fast the regular mess hall staff.

Roast Beast.
I think I knew that cow.

Small Space.
The next two pictures give an idea of how small this mess hall is.
It seats fewer than 100 at a time.
Turkish flag and French flag on back wall.

The Bar...sort of.
Fizzy juice and near beer as close as we are allowed to get.

The Desert Table.
Speaks for itself.

Unfortunately, the ice sculpture eagle had already lost his head.

Camp Dubbs Model.
Not to scale.

The other Cakes.
No one wanted to be the first to cut into them.
Finally one of the KBR staff cut a piece off each.
And then they went pretty fast.