Friday, January 27, 2012

January Snow in Kabul

So I just left Kabul for good on Monday, January 23rd, but I almost didn't make it out with all of the snow on the ground. I'm back home in Texas, but I still have a lot of pictures left to post. Since Texas isn't nearly as interesting, I'll try to put up the rest of the Kabul pics in the next couple weeks.
These next pictures are all from one day in early January, when I went out to a meeting at a high school on the outskirts of town.















The man commemmorated in the center of this traffic circle is the Hazara warlord Abdul Ali Mazari. He fought against the Taliban and also committed some pretty horrible human rights abuses himself. In 1995 he was captured by the Taliban, who killed him by throwing him out of a helicopter midflight.






Friday, January 13, 2012

There's nowhere I'd rather be...

...than Kandahar in December.



Forty shades of brown, and a minor MRAP traffic jam.







Looking out onto the helicopter in front of us, on the trip from the Kandahar Air Field (KAF) to the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (KPRT).




A view of the city as we land:



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Marine Ball 2011

At the pre-ball party, Dwayne joins John for a whiskey, which he enjoys from my Will & Kate commemorative mug, free with a subscription to "People" magazine. <3



Requisite picture with the China jacket, with Denise and Andrew:



Marines were everywhere!



Meeting General Allen, 4-star commander of ISAF, i.e. our top military guy in Afghanistan and wearer of the best outfit in the room.



Dates!



Sunday, January 1, 2012

So I went to Thailand and only took two pictures...

I'm just now putting these pictures up, but I went to Thailand for a week in early October for my 2nd RRB. I think I wrote about this before, but everyone posted to Afghanistan for a year gets to choose between taking 3 R&Rs or 2 R&Rs and 3 RRBs. The only difference between an R&R and an RRB is the amount of money that you're given to spend on the airplane tickets. For an R&R, you're given about $3,000, and about $1,500 for an RRB (regional rest break). The idea is that you could go home to the U.S. on an R&R, but would stay somewhere in the region for an RRB, like Dubai or India. You can spend just about however much time you want on each break, but you need to be in Afghanistan for at least 300 of 365 days.

For my second RRB, I was able to use the $1,500 to travel all the way to Koh Samui Island, Thailand to spend a week at the Kamalaya Resort. I basically just slept, ate, and laid on the beach, so I didn't take any pictures.

On the way back to Afghanistan, I spent a day in Bangkok to see the sites (and wade through floodwaters). These are the two pictures I took at a temple, which I visited with a friend from Kabul.