10.18.07 – Bad Allergies, Living Conditions & Adrenaline Rides through Afghanistan!

18Oct07

So…we left Camp Pheonix this morning. That was where we played last night. We were kind of sad to leave Capt. McLeod (he was awesome) and now we’re at a new camp inside the city of Kabul. I have been neglecting to mention that our allergies are SO BAD here from the high altitude and dust. I keep looking at the mountains wondering if that’s where the terrorists, Taliban, or even Osama himself are. Despite how demolished and destroyed the city looks, it really does seem like it could be such a beautiful place.

We had another adventurous ride in the armoured Hum-V’s. It’s like an adrenaline rush everytime. We put on our borrowed bulletproof vests and helmets and took a series of pictures with a few soldiers.

 

We got briefed about the ride we were going to take by one of the lieutenants. He said it would be very dangerous and gave us a few tips to keep our eyes peeled for. He mentioned a Toyota Corolla with a shooter and 2 possible suicide bombers. That put me in a slight panic. Tanya and I said a quick prayer and finally the convoy took off. We were going the opposite way from where we came in with the last hummer ride. Going towards town things looked a little less demolished. There were lots of vendors along the way which made the highway look like a dusty flea market. Lots of wide open fields and it was so bright and sunny.

We drove through town and along the way you could hear our protective shooters riding in the top portion of the Hummer yelling at the civilians to, “Get out of the way!!!” The city was very busy like any city. There were traditionally dressed people with the long-sleeved, button-up gowns and pants then there were the kids, teenagers, and a few middle aged people who wore modern clothing modeling after western civilization. There were people walking, riding bikes, even poor horse carriages pulling wooden crates.

The base we’re at now is almost like a resort to some of the previous bases we’ve been on. It almost feels like we’re in the Carribbean somewhere. We grabbed lunch, ate outside, and they were playing salsa.

Now I realize I haven’t mentioned food much….that means I’m eatin GOOD. The military eats 3 times a day. I know regular people who don’t eat that much. Breakfast consists of everything – eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, hashbrowns, biscuits, omelettes, you name it! Lunch consists of hot dishes like pasta, seafood, fried rice, chicken & gravy, steak & vegetables (it’s all actually kinda good) and there’s even a JUNK line where you can eat chicken nuggets, pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, corndogs, hotdogs, polish sausage…whatever! And you can go back for seconds…lol

KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root aka Halliburton – sound familiar?) are the vendors providing the food. We were informed that it’s about $35/meal everytime someone eats…WHOA! Thus we have to sign in EVERYTIME we step into a “chow hall” which they call DFAC here. We have to write our name, rank (ours is GS-14 as military entertainers) and the last 4 digits of our social. OH, and it is MANDATORY to wash your hands everytime and you cannot bring a bag. Bags actually are not allowed in any military buildings. One last thing about the “chow halls”. There are snacks as you leave the doors and everyone is allowed to take 2. There are granola bars, trail mix, chocolates, and any kind of candy. I’ve been really hooked on skittles lately. There is always water inside your accomodations…cases and cases of it because the water is “not potable” which means you cannot/should not drink it or even brush your teeth with it. The water around here smells like sewer…ugh! But the shower situation has been ok. They are Community showers and the water is filtered but at least there aren’t the time constraints I thought there would be.

During lunch today we were sitting down with our point of contact for this base. Her name is Major Pigg. She is a very nice lady who will be stepping down in about 2 weeks to go back to the States. She stressed that they NEVER get entertainment here so everyone is REALLY looking forward to it. In so many words she mentioned that we are guinea pigs for the Armed Forces Entertainment so we happen to be one of the very first bands to have ever done this kind of tour. They have had a little bit of entertainment here and there but nothing like us so everyone is really excited about seeing us play this evening.

And on that note, I’m going to retire to a disco nap so I can be ready for sound check this afternoon. More soon and I know I am b/sing on the pictures. I will have some up really soon! Sorry 😦

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6 Responses to “10.18.07 – Bad Allergies, Living Conditions & Adrenaline Rides through Afghanistan!”

  1. 1 Cameron

    Girl you are doing such a wonderful thing out there. Keep them happy, cuz they do one helluva job out there and they need to know how much we appreciate them! Tell them Houston sends one big ass “Howdy, and come home soon!!”
    See you when you get back, and be safe!!

    Much luv,
    Cam and Dawn

  2. 2 scout

    i didn’t know if u saw this. congratz.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ultimate/07/people/5215399.html

    karina nistal supa dupa star

    This singer told the Chronicle that she wanted her debut album to have “that edgy, electro, breakbeat, drum-‘n-bass, dancehall, Latin kind of sound.” That about sums up Nistyle. It’s an absurdly infectious mishmash of party music that should have major labels camped out in front of Nistal’s home. Get familiar with the name — you’ll likely be hearing about the half-Mexican/half-Cuban singer and dancer before long. Her immense talent is matched only by her infectious, accessible personality. Nistal is working on new music and readying her bilingual sound for an armed-forces tour of the Middle East. Catch her while she’s still making the local rounds because it likely won’t be for much longer.

  3. 3 Ryan

    you were so good describing the scenes here in your blog that I feel like I’m there. I can tell you’re enjoying yourself and already learning a lot from the experience x. I also know that these soldiers are more grateful than you would believe. I’ve had friends tell me how much they wish they could get some entertainment and you guys are providing some of the best. Luv you much

    Skittles…AWWREADY!!! 😉

  4. 4 shorty

    OMG!! you are kidding right?? Her name is Major Pigg???? i know i know im mean!! Miss u K!

  5. 5 Rete

    LOL, this is becoming like our daily soap-opera! Can’t wait for your next blog! You are doing a wonderful service for our troops over-seas! Deb & her sister say, “HI”…ya’ll are in our prayers as is everyone over there. Hey, we just got Nando’s pictures in the mail from his mom of when he was in the Marines…Can’t wait to show them to you!

    Love ya, stay alert & safe! (I know they are taking very good care of ya’ll.)

    Blue White Light

    Rete & Kinders

  6. 6 heatherly

    Hey there chica! It’s 5:32pm Oct.18th….Boy, I’m I relieved that you can Blog & at least tell your anxious peeps at Home what’s going on over there! I can not stress how Proud Sanjay & I are of you!!! I think about you on a daily basis wondering if your ok & what you doing, well besides entertaining. I say my little prayers for you & the crew. I’m glad you are w/ so many others…you know for support. Did I mention that I’m proud!!! I can’t even imagine what it’s like over there, always having to be on your toes, yet focused enough to entertain & be on your Game! I have much respect for you. Wow, what a leap & not to mention that it’s a once in a life time chance/experience! Oh, & the culture shock you must be going through, how interesting is that! All these things must be so exciting & sensory overload! Thank you Karina for thinking of your supporters & loved ones, by blogging your travels. How thoughtful of you!!!! I sure am pulling for you here in H-Town! I just know that eveybody has already fallin in love w/ you…your so awesome, sweet, cute, & full of positive energy! That must be a plus to all those folks, not to mention your giving them Bad Ass Performances!!! You were Perfect for this Journey!!! Keep it up & your Spirits High! Your helping alot of people!!! Well, I gotta go to a meeting, but I’m so glad I got the chance to communicate w/ you. I hope you can hit me back w/ some words, if ya get the chance, if not, no worries. I understand!! I luv you w/ all my Heart & I really do miss you! Please Take Care & Have a Beautiful Day! PS…Tell Tanya I said what’s up! luv your girl, heatherly ;0)


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