10.19.07 – We got *coined* at Camp Eggers!

19Oct07

First of all I’d like to start by saying I *really* appreciate all of the comments on the blogs. It feels good to know you guys are reading and actually interested 🙂

I have so much to tell everyone about Camp Eggers (pronounced Ay-gers.) I’ve met some really amazing people here just as I have at every location. To start Major Pigg and Capt Mack have been wonderful to us. We have a contact point at every base we attend. Since Major Pigg is stepping down in a few weeks, Capt Mack who will fill her spot has also assisted us. She even gave me her cellphone to hang on to which is a HUGE help with the time. I’d say for the past week I have had no concept of time whatsoever. I think my body is starting to adjust. I’ve been waking up at 5:30am the last 3 mornings. The cellphone carrier here is called Roshan which I think is equivalent to our T-Mobile. I don’t know why but I find that interesting. Yesterday when they drove us through the city trying to get us here I noticed their advertisements in Arabic. There’s a beautiful male or female model in the ad and a very modern design, almost American. They are smiling and holding up the product they are trying to sell to consumers. Goes to show in any culture only what’s most attractive holds appeal.

We had an interesting day at Camp Eggers…everyone is giving me static for being such a “communication addict”. I can’t help it! I am having so much fun writing these blogs and keeping you guys posted….I think I am becoming a junkie. I lay in my bunk thinking, “What will I write next?”

Yesterday was interesting because Major Pigg said that one of the Generals wanted to meet us. This is a HUGE deal because the Generals are so busy that if they make time in their schedules for you it’s an honor. We rounded up the crew and 2 of us were missing. Jon Durbin and Mark who we later learned were in the theatre on base watching movies. Pfffft! Our meeting was scheduled at 15:30 (notice the military time) and it was brief. The General basically thanked us for being there and expressed how much he admired what we were doing. He extended a token of appreciation – a GIANT gold coin. It was indeed an honor. This gold coin had our eagle and flag on one side and the country of Afghanistan on the other. He explained that these coins are only given to a soldier who does a big act and makes an impact on base. That made me feel really important! And since our show was that evening and he hadn’t even seen us play yet – NO PRESSURE! lol

We did have an amazing show though – our 3rd one. I feel like we are getting better and more in tune with one another everytime. I love my crew. Tanya (Soulfree) started the set Djing. That is usually how we start all our sets. She gets the crowd warmed up playing everything from Latin breaks to “Last Night a DJ saved my life” and “Crank Dat (Soldier boy)”. Typically the audience gets into her selection. We played outside too which was a nice change but it got really cooooold.

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I didn’t bring enough warm clothes but thank God for my 3-sunz hoodie and gear. I have been representing my hip hop gear to the fullest out here  (thanks to Craig) I’m hip and cute 🙂

The crowd started to build. Major Pigg said she sent out 3 reminder emails so people would not forget to come. At 20:00 she introduces us and ON WITH THE SHOW! There were some really active participants this time. One of my favorites was Ray Carr who did the best rendition of the “Trabajalo” dance I have ever seen. Dropped it, popped it, raised it up, and dropped it again. WOW! So much for my little swing….lol he really got the crowd into it and they went crazy cheering and clapping over our interaction. I ran through my set with ease…I’d say their favorites are “La Fuente de Juventud” which Mark, Durbin, and I start acapella. It sounds folkloric at first then we break out the reggaeton beat. That usually gets them to the dancefloor. The soldiers were drinking non-alcoholic St. Pauly’s last night (go placebo) and smoking hooka. I hit the hooka pipe a bit even though I’m not too fond of tobacco. I did it for our boys!

After the set, Tanya, Jon C., and Rick switched turns Djing while the dance party kept going. We took lots of pics again and signed lots of autographs.  Here are a few pictures:

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When I see the joy and appreciation on their faces it makes doing what I do so worth it.

Here is Mark Sound playing a jam session with an Army Sargeant after the show. Mark Sound on guitar while the sargeant was on bass! 

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I met two service people who were very inspiring last night. The first,  Sargeant Tapia is a Medic. Here is the band pictured with her:

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(Left to right: Cruz, Tanya aka DJ Soulfree, Sgt. Tapia, Mark Sound, *myself*, Jon Durbin, and Rick aka 808)

She is an amazing pilar of strength. She told me they really needed this kind of distraction on base because they lost someone 12 days ago. My heart sank as I listened. She told me her story and how she doesn’t have a husband or any kids so the military is her family. She is very dedicated to what she does. She told me that lots of people back home don’t understand. The soldiers do not want to come home. Someone has to be there to maintain the order and she doesn’t have a problem doing it. I really admire her comradery. As a matter of fact, these last few days that I’ve seen military women I have to say I admire any female in the service. I know personally, I couldn’t do it but I am more than happy providing my entertainment to them.

The 2nd key individual I met is Cheif Molina. Here are a few pictures with Cheif Molina:

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(Mary is also pictured here to the far right. The boys thought she was cute!)

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(Pictured left to Right: Cruz – notice the hooka*, Durbin, Mary, and Rick)

Back to Cheif Molina…he is orginally from Brownsville, TX and based in Alaska. He is serving his 12 months here as the person in charge of all outside vendors. What a neat hookup too! He took us to his office and gave Durbin and I a bag full of deodorant, liquid soap, tissue, hand sanitizer gel, snacks, magazines, and MUCH MORE. While I was in his office I noticed pictures of his family. He has a lovely wife and 2 beautiful little girls ages 4 and 6. There were cards and drawings from them all over his office saying, “I love you daddy”. He said it’s so hard because he feels like he’s missing the best ages in their lives. Before we left his office he played a few recordings that his wife sent him of the girls. Just simple conversation type stuff and a bunch of “I miss you’s”. He had some amazing art on his walls. He said a 12-year old boy painted them. For the longest time the Afghan govt prohibited art to their citizens but slowly art is making a string comeback. The young man’s paintings are very impressive. There is a bazaar on base today and he said we could meet him if we wanted to. He also said he could score us some deals with the shopowners if we were interested in buying anything. Now THAT’S a hookup!

What has stood out to me about most of these stories is that we are here for a big reason. Our military is training the Afghans. That is their sole purpose here besides restoring order.

Today we’re off to ISAF which is another base about 40kilometers away to play for more soldiers. Lots of the guys from last night said they would take the short walk to hear us play again. They really know how to stroke an ego 🙂 I’m gettin a little sick now so I need to go spoil myself for awhile….tea with honey, lozenges, and a little more rest. I’ll catch up with you guys a little later!

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13 Responses to “10.19.07 – We got *coined* at Camp Eggers!”

  1. thank you, karina, for the updates, and for the obvious moral support you and the crew are offering to our brothers and sisters in arms. much love and respect, chica. stay safe.

  2. 2 Stu

    Hey Karina! It’s great to read your blog. You’re doing an awesome thing. Pretty cool to see you in the Chronicle too. Can’t wait to see you again in H Town. Stay safe and stay golden.
    Stu

  3. 3 PT USA4EVER

    Thanks for sharing! More about the people who live along the way. Found a fav highway vendor? What are your impressions of the cultures of the people along the way? Much love!

  4. 4 annette musick

    hey girl!!! I love it! I’m concerned for the traveling, but what you are doing is sooooo incredible!! Thank you for these blogs. I will read avidly. So where you are, might be the base of my pretty much sister growing up, Vanessa Gee. (i think that is last name she is using). Maybe you could hug her if you happen to see her. She’s dark skin, if that isn’t the name she is using. She’s a higher rank, career military. Not like general or anything, but she’s there. 🙂 Anyway, I love all you!! Thanks for doing this, makes me feel like I’m with you. 🙂

  5. 5 Rete

    Than-X 4 those glimpses into your current world! BWL

    Love,

    Rete

  6. 6 Claudia

    Thanks for the updates. I look forward to reading them now! Stay safe and tell our troops they are very much appreciated back home!

  7. 7 Ryan

    you little communication addict you! haha. Its all good because I’m getting addicted to reading these things. While you’re thinking “what will I write next” I’m wondering what I’ll be reading next. You’re pretty dang good at this Karina, maybe you should blog your experiences more often. Thats real koo about the gold coin, its an honor and you deserve it. Keep up the good work dear. LMAO at the best “Trabajalo” rendition you’ve ever seen :), I can only imagine how throwed it was. XO

  8. 8 adam

    yo karina, just wanted to say hey and wish you all the best while you’re out east. hope to see you soon.

    adam

  9. 9 eyeris

    Heeeeeeeey MA! Miss you lots!! I’m reading your blog and LOVING IT!! Keep livin that DREAM Mamita!!!

    xoxo – Iris

  10. 10 bootleg

    I am proud of you Karina! glad to hear that you like the chow, i know thats important lol. i just read the last 2 blogs and now im late for school, but it is well worth it. thank you for being so positive all the time, even on the other side of the world i learn from you. peace!

  11. 11 Jill

    Hi Karina-

    Just a quick note to tell you how much I admire you and your crew for all that you are doing!

    I miss you around the office but your blogs are awesome!!

    Jill

  12. 12 Bill

    Way to go Karina! Thanks for the great support you are providing to our troops. Your blog was very heart warming to my wife and I upon reading it. Best regards. Bill and Margaret Eggers, the parents of the late CAPT Daniel W. Eggers, for whom Camp Eggers was named.

  13. Hey! I think I may know stories about Sargent Molina! My fiance was stationed out of Alaska for awhile. Anyhow…thanks for what you do, being over there willingly and offering such support! That’s so great and means a lot to me!


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