Sunday, 8 September 2013

Another action packed day!

This morning we did the Russian Tower tour which was SO fascinating. The Russian Tower is one of the few remaining buildings still standing on Bagram (our office building included) from the time the Soviets built this base in 1979.  I learned so much about the history of Bagram as well as the political history of Afghanistan. I wish I had taken this tour our first week here! I also learned that you can reserve the actual air traffic control tower room -which overlooks the entire base- for personal events. It's insanely last minute but I am trying to reserve the room for this Wednesday to have a farewell party with some friends!

After the tour, I went to the Korean Hospital to do the interview with Fatimah and her family. The interview was truly one of the most incredible opportunities I've had in my life. I had an Afghan interpreter with me as well as the Program Director for the hospital, but truly the most inspiring part was sitting with Fatimah and her father, who sat cross-legged on his daughter's bed, as she received a blood transfusion and the two of them spoke with me about what the funding of her cancer treatment meant to their family.  The affection displayed by her father is in stark contrast with the reputation of Afghanistan's treatment of women.  And in an incredible coincidence, Fatimah's father, who is a local of Bagram, actually assisted in the construction of the hospital in 2010. I've finished the first draft of the flyer to the Bagram community and we hope to release it to the base community this week.

And finally, tonight was my co-worker's birthday so a bunch of friends came over to have a small party and after the party ended, two friends of mine brought over Pizza Hut and we were enjoying one of our last nights together when I get a phone call out of the blue from our replacement team...saying that they were standing at the Bagram Pax Terminal! Wow!! Shifting gears!! They've arrived! We cut our lunch short and I drove over to pick them up, arranged for their billeting, took them to the DFAC for a 2am sandwich and then got them sorted into their housing for the evening. Official transition starts tomorrow!  I should also mention we got attacked pretty hard tonight, booms going off all over the place, although none close enough that I was particularly worried. We are officially in battle rattle "until further notice" :-/

I can't believe the new team is here. It's real now. So much is happening and it's all coming to end, it's so hard to comprehend.

The Tower balcony view

Russian bunker in the basement

My Vet buddy and I in the Russian Tower Air Traffic Control Room

The center of the Air Traffic Control Room

Photo of the Russian Tower when the US forces first occupied
the building in 2001

Hanging in the control room...which we can hopefully
reserve for Wednesday!

No comments: