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Friday, June 11, 2010

LIfe In a Box-Rambles from Afghanistan

I've put up a few photos of my hooch here in Kabul. Due to the security environment here (our security guys refer to Kabul as having a "non-permissive travel environment") I pretty much live my life out on the 7 acre embassy compound (the same is true for all Americans assigned to the embassy). I work here, I live here, I eat all my meals in the chow hall here on the compound, I do just about everything here on the embassy compound. the only time I leave the embassy compound is to conduct business and then I always travel in a fully armored vehicle and only travel straight to my destination and return directly to the embassy when finished.

Most of my time is spent at work. I work in the Political Section and it seems like we work all the time. Our regular work schedule is six days a week, with Friday (supposed to be) off, generally putting in 11-12 hour days. Actually getting a full day off generally doesn't seem to work out very often, most everyone is in the officeon Friday for part of the day. In the seven--plus months i've been here I accidently had two days in a row off when a holiday fell next to a Friday. I've also gone five weeks without having a single day off.

So what do I do for the two or three waking hours each day when I am not at work? Apart from going to the gym (I came here wearing a 35" waist pant, I'm now wearing 33" waist pants!), there really isn't anyplace on the compound to go for recreation, so I spend most of my off-duty time in my hooch, which takes me back to the subject of the email - Life in a Box.

Most of the housing here consists of hooches. Hooches are regular shipping containers converted into housing units. A shipping container is about 30 feet long and 8 feet wide. for our hooches, the shipping container is divided into two sections, creating two hooches per container, each 8 by 15 feet.

A special thanks to Randy for this post!  What's your life at post like? 

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