10.21.07 – Our 1st sandstorm and performing at Al-Udied!

22Oct07

So it’s been a few days but let me tell ya…it was * really* hard gettin out of Afghanistan! Thank goodness the great Cheif Lateste hung out with us that entire day. He really brought some good vibes and enlightening to our trip. We were in Kaia airport the whole day just waiting for our flight to take us to Qatar. That seemed like it would never happen. We were all ready to leave Afghanistan at that point with the worst of our allergies, sinus, and sniffles. Outside the airport it looked like the desert was blowin around. That worried me because if there was “low-visibility” the plane wouldn’t take off and that’s why we had such a delay. Finally we had to say goodbye to our dear friend Cheif Lateste. That was hard. He had been such  bright spot on our trip. We offered to bring him on as our mascot but he declined. At least now we have a good friend in Belgium 🙂 We walked outside and got caught in the sandstorm…WHY on earth are they trying to get us on this plane right now? They drove us to the plane and the wind was so harsh and cold then we ran in the plane and waited for the low-visibility to ease up so we could take off. We finally arrived in Qatar at 10:30pm. Now only 8hrs ahead of Central time wooo hoooo!

As soon as we landed in Qatar and took the first few steps off the plane I started to feel better. Even though it was still desert, it wasn’t nearly as bad as Afghanistan. My sinus pressure felt better and my eyes didn’t burn. Thank God for relief! And guess what!? It was actually WARM! It felt like Texas weather….yaay! We went through customs and waited for our next POC (point of contact.) A few minutes later a pretty smiling face walks through the door. She introduced herself as “Serria” our POC for Camp Al-Uedid (pronounced Al-yoo-deed.) We finished going through customs and told Serria we were all starved. Our last meal had been several hours before when Cheif Lateste bought us pizzas. She said we were just in time for the “Midnight Chow”. First she took us through a sandwich-snack line. The military does not hesitate to feed their men. We all got 2 cibatta sandwiches, 2 drinks, 2 chips, and 2 snacks. That was food to store to our fridge when we got into our accomodations. We went to midnight chow and ate like royalty then Serria gave us a tour of the camp and took us to our bunks. Our bunks were extremely cold. The a/c unit was not one that we could turn off or turn down because it was a unit that was outside and had HUGE airducts coming in. We had extra linens and made ourselves a cubby hole. It was still really cold.

The next day I tried to blog but all of the sites I wanted to access were blocked. This is a huge base so to try to get anywhere is a half a mile walk. Talk about gettin your workout. I’m obsessed with blogging now and got kind of bummed I couldn’t do it. Instead we all put on our bathingsuits and went to the pool. It was our first base that actually had a pool so we could go swimming and get some rays. The weather was so warm and nice. It seemed like most of the camp was out there. Al-Udeid had about 8,000-12,000 people between soldiers and civilian workers. There was probably about 200 people at the pool…athletic, muscular, hard-body soldiers! Hey, a girl can admire!

After that we went to the DFAC (chow hall), got some food, then headed to soundcheck. The stage where we were performing was HUGE. It reminded me a little of Woodlands Pavilian in Houston. Since this was a recreational base for soldiers we were allowed to have 3 drinks. The performance setup was really nice and probably the biggest stage we had thus far. We were all really excited about it.

Showtime was at 8pm. Soulfree was already out there Djing some R&B and ol’skool. They seemed like a really chill crowd the whole time but at the end of the show we had a long line for cd’s and autographs. Sort of surprised me because reading the crowd from the stage I didn’t think they were really into it. I didn’t think I did my best singing either. I was starting to get all that congestion out and it was ugly so I was straining to produce a nice sound or even stay on-key. I didn’t like the way I sounded but then again I am my biggest critic.

After the show while everyone was trying to max out on their limit of drinks, we met a few soldiers that had been injured and they told us their stories. Two guys both named Nathan – one was a Marine and one was in the Army had been “blown up”. Their stories were so amazing. They truly were lucky they even survived especially with all their limbs. They were both in good spirits and still found humor in their situations. They are to remain at Al-Udeid until they are both well enough to return. Not a bad spot to be either – this camp had a bar, media center, activity center, theatre, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, pool…one of the nicest ones I’d been to. It was nice to hang out with some of the soldiers after the show and hear their stories. We loved hearing them as much as they enjoyed sharing them.

Today we’re at a new base…Camp Al-Salliyah and we’re in the middle of soundcheck. We go on in about an hour and a half so I need to go get ready! I’ll fill you guys in on more later!

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3 Responses to “10.21.07 – Our 1st sandstorm and performing at Al-Udied!”

  1. 1 Devon Price

    Hey girl just wanted to say hi and that we all enjoy reading about your experiences. We can’t wait till you come back everyone says hi and that we miss you. Be safe and lots of pics!!!!!!!

  2. THANK YOU for blogging….I am sooo loving reading all the things you are going through….it’s awesome….and my imagination doesn’t have to work too hard cause you are so great at painting the picture for us!!! I kinda feel like I’m there..lol.

    Keep doing what you do…….and be safe my love!

    Love you,

    Ale

  3. 3 Rete

    OMG! It is SsssssOooooo comforting to read from you! I am so glad you are feeling better and that you are safe! It sounds like it can be scarry there, after all you are in the middle of a war zone. Z’s second tooth came out last night! Did you hear about our tree and the neighbor’s house?

    Blue White Light,

    Rete


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