Thursday, January 6, 2011

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - Spenghar Shura

Yesterday the barber shop/salon was open by Post 5. Staff Sargent Sergio (Serge) Fernandez from NY specializes in the 'low fade' after Sargent Christian Flores did a high or low bowl cut depending upon the preference of the Marine. The Marines here are very particular about their looks and amazingly look fresh, clean shaven and showered everyday...when I know they aren't. Of course having me participate upped the rate of Serge who cut my hair in a stylish blunt cut...just before a Shura with the CO here and the CO of the ANA at their base across the road.

The Afghan CO was the real deal.

It's actually fantastic being a woman here because it's the equivalent to being a fly on the wall. I get to listen to everything and am totally ignored so everyone talks freely.

Again, at this Shura, the CO's talked about support during the Over Watch. The CO here was very clever knowing that everything in Afghanistan is a negotiation, but was forceful regarding the timeline.

Later, the Cook was busy starting dinner. He made 'Castaway Rice' as I am at the home of the Castaway's.

A bit later, one of the local Elders came to discuss the building of a bridge and the support of the other local Elders and whom to choose as leaders of the ISKI. Sitting in a small wooden structure that was used to train the ANA we drank green tea. There were posters written in Arabic of heroic men and padded benches which were a nice change from the hard wooden ones all over camp.

In just a few minutes I believe the water in my solar shower bag will be warm enough to take a shower. I'm really looking forward to this! It's about 40 degrees out now in the sun, the hottest part of the day; so I'm going for it. There's been a little action with the ANA and they've utilized our support so the camp is quiet, the best time to attempt this.