Sunday, January 29, 2012

Way Up North

I've been up in the Dehdadi/Marmal area for about two weeks now, though it feels like much more. After the boring near-vacation of my first couple of weeks in country, I really feel like I'm earning my pay now! Being the Officer in Charge of a project or area is challenging as an O1, though I do look old enough now that I have a bit more gravitas than the average cherry-cheeked butterbar. The positive side to having such enormous responsibility- I'm a major part of planning what will become the largest site for my agency in the country- as an O1 is that, well, I'm only an O1! I think of it like being a relief pitcher. Relief pitchers can only win the game. :-)

There are positives as well as negatives to everywhere we go. Unlike LNK, at DDII, I don't have my own little mini-apartment (CHU). I also don't have access to a vehicle. Some positive sides to being here include having showers within easy walking distance. And, having a base small enough that I can walk it- good exercise.

I work on my thankfulness, here. It gets cold; I'm thankful I have shelter. If I don't have the food choices I might prefer, I do at least have food, hot food, and plenty of it. When I go to Marmal, I enjoy the German food I get there. Not having things helps me remember how good I- and most of us, as US citizens- usually have it. Last night I grew tired of reading with my dim light bulb, and went over to our tiny PX to buy a reading lamp.

There were no reading lamps to buy. So I was reminded of how privileged I am to live in a country where I *usually* can go buy a reading lamp quickly, easily, and without it potentially interfering with my ability to eat for that day. We in the United States really have it good.

I have it good.


Old NFO said...

That we do JR, and sometimes it IS the 'little' things that bring that home to us. Travel safe, and 'enjoy' being a butterbar :-) At least they can only chew you out, and look for your boss!!!

J.R.Shirley said...

There's a lot of truth in that. :-)

Matt Murphy said...

"Butterbar"... I wonder how far back that word dates? Keep your peeps safe. Stay safe.

charlotte g said...

You are so right. Along with when we shop, no bombs.Tonight it is chilly and rainy; I have Matt's youngest with me to eat homemade beef stew with green chiles and rolls--5 big ones for a dollar. We will sleep warm and dream without fear.

Thanks for your service. Safe travel and a full belly to you. God bless.

J.R.Shirley said...

Thank you, Charlotte.