Thursday, May 01, 2008

Trip to KAIA

I, personally, like adventure. Not crazy stuff - but doing something different - going somewhere cool - seeing something unusual. Regular stuff. Here in Afghanistan - believe it or not - there is beauty everywhere. Every morning I'm in awe - no matter which way I walk, I'm walking towards a mountain. Beautiful - absolutely stunning.

We had a little accident about a month ago - the NCOIC - Ken - was playing on the vollyball league against the French team, I think - who had a couple professional players! - and the ball hit him just right and broke his finger in 2 places. Of course, he didn't know this at the time - just thought it was out of joint - since it was bent at a right angle away from his hand. Looked pretty nasty. Well - he had it looked at by the doc on base, but the doc sent him to KAIA (Kabul International Airport) to have the surgeons/docs/nurses there check it out - since they had an x-ray machine, and we don't have on on HQ ISAF.

We arrived, and departed from the shuttle area, knowing we needed to return in 4 hours, and started walking in the direction we thought the hospital was. As we were walking, we saw a couple soldiers and a civilian, so we asked if they could point us in the general vicinity. The civilian - Australian, offered to just take us, and he did.

The hospital reminded me of M.A.S.H. - the TV show. It was a big green tent. As we walked in through the first flap, I could see 3 openings to leave through - one was a dentist area, one was blocked off, and a third where the nurses came from. These were Croatian ladies, officers, in camouflage, with a very limited command of English. However, they were very helpful and friendly, which made everything much easier. Ken got in to see the doc immediately - obviously no silly insurance questions here, in a war zone, and I waited in the waiting. . . . area.

When he returned, he confirmed - his finger was broken, and in two places. That means a return trip. Since we had been here now a total of about 40 minutes, and he was completely done, we had some time to kill. We walked over to the coffee shop and got a drink, and Ken decided he wanted to take himself out for a massage. Great idea - and good birthday gift! He went to do that, I went to see the shops.

The shops were identical to the shops at HQ ISAF - same kinds of things, a rug shop or 4, a shop with only pashmina's, an 'antique' shop, and various others. I got a German soccer team shirt, and a Pashmina for mom (a nice one, too), and hit a couple of the BX's. We finished up with lunch at the Italian place, which I treated Ken to, since it was his birthday, and loaded up to head out.

As we were driving back, we took some video. . . very interesting city - Kabul. Probably the most interesting item, was the cloud of smoke we saw some 100 yards off as we exited the airport. I learned later that was a fatal IED. Really made me glad we didn't take that exit out of the Airport. And made me call my kids. . . tell them I love them. . . and really consider how close to "War" I really am. Sobering.

Here's some of the video we shot driving through Kabul:


  1. I noticed a few people standing in between traffic. What where they doing?

    I really appreciate your posts and sharing what you are experiencing.

    oh! April is going to Tanzania next week, for one week. But, she won't have any communication! ;p

    You two make me so much more eager to travel and experience! :)

  2. I think your blog is so cool. I've been reading it for awhile now. Normally i'm not on so I posted this as anonymous. We miss seeing you and look forward to you returning. Sounds like you have had some scary and interesting adventures. We miss ya. *hugs*

    Your friend,
    Stella Link