Proverbs 6:6, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”
The ant may be a good model for working hard and doing what we should be doing without needing to be told, but that doesn’t mean that the ant’s methods are the best.
No one will accuse the Afghans of being efficient. But they do know how to get the job done (even if not to western standards). Consider the following video recorded at Camp Eggers, Afghanistan:
These Afghan construction workers refuse to let a second floor keep them from accomplishing the mission. The solution isn’t always the easiest but it just may be the most expedient.
Innovative? Efficient? Safe? Back breaking? You decide.
Since it seems that one of our goals here in Afghanistan is to pump as much money into the economy, this is a most efficient way of doing it. Unfortunately, it does little to modernize a country stuck in the Stone Age.
Maybe these guys should audition for “Afghanistan’s Got Talent.”
Posted in Culture, Humor
Tagged Afghanistan, Afghans, Camp Eggers, Kabul, Labor, OSHA, Projects, Safety, Waste, Work
You didn’t know there were polar bears in Afghanistan? Well, from the “can’t make this stuff up” pile comes this recent afront to Polar Bear Clubs everywhere:
“The Polar Bear Run scheduled [this week] has been cancelled. Snow showers are expected to begin at 0600 hours.”
BREAKING NEWS: The International Surfing Championships have been cancelled because of sunshine.
Nothing says “ambiance” on Camp Eggers like walking by a “suck-truck” pumping sewage holding tanks on your way to the DFAC. It’s something like Pavlov’s Dogs–but no one is really sure whether the hunger pangs or the stench comes first.
"Okay air" versus "not-so Okay air"
So poor is the air quality in Afghanistan that the urban legend is that you get an automatic 10% disability rating for a year in theater (you don’t). NTM-A recently declared that, “If you can see, taste, or smell the air, or you cannot see the mountains during daylight hours, then you should exercise indoors.”
Another revelation from NTM-A is that, “During exercise, breathing becomes faster and deeper through the mouth, which allows more particle matter to reach deep into the lungs.”
Call off the war, I have a 5k to run.
Someone must have been on their last day at Camp Eggers; something is just not right about the automated announcement from the NTM-A JOC.
If you aren’t in the military, this will not be funny one way or the other. But for anyone familiar with military installations, this is funny, especially for Afghanistan.
If you’ve been in Afghanistan and understand the affinity for boys, this announcement takes on a whole new meaning.
Hopefully, the exercise helped prepare the Embassy because when they use their their “Big Boy Voice” there is likely to be an uptick in interest from Afghans.
We really love to laugh at the Afghans for the funny things they do. But they are, after all, dealing with the western standards we are trying to impose.
Even still, Americans provide the best entertainment. While out on a mission recently, road status changed in the Kabul area forcing a group outside the wire to find an alternative way back to Camp Eggers. The didn’t have a map and ended-up ‘off the beaten path.’ Making matters worse, they managed to locate the local waste water treatment plant — a roadside ditch.
- Business as usual for the Afghans
The Afghans often use the ditches and roadsides for dumping their sewage and this was one of those ditches! Unfortunately for the guys involved, they haven’t had the best sense of humor about the incident which has only ratcheted-up the amount of harassment they are receiving. Such is life in the military; don’t wear your feelings on your sleeve!
If Afghanistan isn’t the armpit of the world, it is definitely not more than a ditch!
From the media attention, you would have thought Kabul was about to fall on September 13th. Things were interesting for a few hours–then it rained. I guess the Taliban lost interest in fighting after that.
Multiple explosions rock Afghan Capital
Taliban attack US Embassy, other Kabul buildings
Taliban target key sites in Kabul
3 police, 1 civilian killed in Taliban attacks in Kabul
Insurgents Attack U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan
Clinton Decries ‘Cowardly Attack’ on Kabul Embassy
Insurgents attack U.S. Embassy in Kabul
Kabul Standoff continues into night
Taliban attack in central Kabul ends
Regarding the rain, it was probably the hardest rain in the last six months. It has maybe rained on only four or five days during that timespan as well. I’m sure the Taliban weren’t prepared for that.
Throughout the military, salutes are rendered by the junior person and returned by the senior person. In the navy, this is only customary when in uniform and covered (with a hat on) which typically means outside only. Such is not the case for the Army and Air Force. Since deploying, I’ve been saluted inside and outside, by covered and uncovered soldiers, and in uniform and out.
My favorite saluting ‘incident’ though was at Camp Virginia, Kuwait. Keep in mind the showers and bathrooms are located some distance from the barracks. As I was walking from my barracks to a meal, I came across a soldier walking from to the showers. He rendered a proper salute with a towel over his shoulder, toiletries under his arm, and shower shoes on his feet–and I returned the salute!
The 10th General Order states “To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.” So, in the navy, while you don’t return a salute if you aren’t in uniform, you would still render a salute if you recognize a senior officer. I was walking about Gator Alley on Camp Eggers, saw Lt Gen Caldwell (3-star) walking back from a workout (sweaty, exhausted, etc.). I rendered the proper honors and was surprised to see him salute. Undoubtedly this is funny just to Navy and Marines, but it does give me a much needed chuckled from time to time.
I attended my first ‘big shots’ meeting recently. I say ‘big shots’ because the Commanding General of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan was in attendance (a 3-star general), two 2-stars, seven 1-stars, plus over 20 Colonels and another 20 Lieutenant Colonels. The generator that supplied the meeting room was down for repair. The back-up power source could not support the air conditioner so the windows were open. It was a little warm but the weather was beautiful.
After about 30 minutes, a sewer truck outside the meeting room began pumping sewage to haul off Camp Eggers. The sewage pumping process is not exactly a hermetically sealed evolution. So, what do senior officers do? Press on while the less senior ones shut the windows. We finished the meeting in a smelly, 90+ degree room, 1-1/2 hours later. Just another day in a war zone.