Saturday, 9 April 2011

So despite the predicated craziness today might bring, the day ended up being just as exciting, but for very different reasons! About an hour into my shift, I went to try and get my picture taken for the flight line badge. The building is somewhere over by the PAX terminal but it was so crowded over there with people walking all around I couldn't find a place to park let alone look for the building. I had to actively try and not kill the pedestrains with my new stick shift driving ability (ie disability). After giving up on that mission, I went for my hospital visit which was fortunately more rewarding than yesterday and I left today at least feeling as though I had made someone’s day a bit brighter.

Then it was back to the office, where we had the scariest incoming ever. We didn’t even hear the explosion, I don’t believe it was near us but the urgency and quite frankly, terror in the incoming “voice” is what unnerved me the most. It was quite the shot of adrenaline. Then Ingrid and I went to dinner at 6pm only to realize that we were supposed to be having dinner with the Jordanians at the UEA dining facility. We halfheartedly attempted to reschedule, but when the officer came over to get us he said that he'd arranged for us to have dinner with the Commander of the UAE camp! So! Dinner round 2!

It was the strangest, most interesting dinner. Their English was quite good (two Jordanian officers and the UAE commander), but still a bit tricky. Unfortunately for me, I had to turn down the food to accommodate my allergy which I think disappointed them, so poor Ingrid had to eat dinner round 2 for both of us. Then it came up how Islam technically allows for up to 4 wives (and both Ingrid and I were thinking mmm where is this going?), but they really just seemed to want to tell us about it and explain the practice. They were telling us stories of their villages where they know of men with 4 wives and up to 36 children. We were told one story about a villager who had 27 children come across some kids in the road when he was driving and he scolded them to go home to their parents…when they were his! But they were wonderful to talk to and it was so incredible to have the opportunity to exchange stories and experiences. Then after dinner we went back into the officer's club for tea. They were so attentive and hospitable that it was proving very difficult to leave. So after tea they took us to the commander's house where we sat in his outdoor gazebo and he offered us the most sumptuous looking fruit and we sat on antique couches and discussed the history of the Red Cross. This, in addition to the fact that the UAE compound is gorgeous by Bagram standards…it actually has trees and vegetation and greenery!

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