Since Sunday morning is downtime for everyone else in the office, I thought I would use the quiet to upload a variety of photos from my first month here. I have separated them out by date/activity/location or whatever felt the most appropriate. For most of the photos – you can get a slightly larger version by clicking on it.
When I first arrive, I was in the DVQ right opposite the baggage yard. Didn’t bother BlueNose at all, not when surround by the essentional (hat, headphones and weapon for protection).
Besides the fun of curtains for doors on all the latrine stalls – ingenuity is required. Since it doesn’t happen at home, there is no reason to suspect that toilet paper rolls would ever be changed leading to loose rolls and ends trailing to the floor. Solution?
Traveling to Kandahar, more dust and dirt with harsh moutains on only two sides.
It is also where I first met the normal, local in-country form of transportation. Named obviously from all the decorations hanging off every possible space and bit.
Getting back from Kandahar, I was offered the change to move into more permanet quarters. It took less than an hour to pack, clear the old room and drop everything off in the new location.
Unpacking took even less time.
10 Oct 2010 – random photos
Since Bagram is high on a plateau ringed by moutian peaks, they are a constant presence and backdrop for daily live.
Given the size of the moutains, to get to Mazar E Sharif is not exactly a direct flight. First we went a bit east over agricultural areas.
It was barely dawn when we took off with blowing sand. Add in the challenge of a Dash flight (courtsey of Presidental Air) where washing the windows is not a common occurance and the photos are not exactly the quality I would like to have.
From flat land, the transition into the mountains is rather sharp. The Hindu-Kush range extends from Afghanistan into Pakistan covering 800km in length and over 200 km in depth. It didn’t take long till we were flying over baren, stark, beautiful mountains.
Frozen lakes are tucked through out the moutains
and the bare bones of the earth are always visible
there is no vegetation, nor is there a tree line – just ridge after sharp ridge of stone
with the only variation in color coming from the rocks, snow and clouds
and the roads through and out of the moutains determined by geography and obvious to everyone
The original camp has been outgrown with more being added for the additional Americans. Mountains are obviously only to the south. To the north, less than 100 km lies Uzbekistan.
and the standard billeting on this camp – Alaska huts
and, just to be safe, bunkers being added. Might I have mentioned that this camp hasn’t been shelled for about seven years …
Dutch sense of humor – and spoofs of some franchises and hotels. The Hilton is not here…..
Back at 14704D
In the short term, the weapons issue is solved. If I don’t pull down the harness when exiting, it is pretty much going to be in my face.
And, finally, my second shawl is complete!
One skein of Opal Hundertwasser knit in a Sharon Miller pattern – size 4.00mm needle.
Such a juxtaposition: the huts and the shawl. Creating beauty anywhere: yes.
Today’s question: why is it called a B-Hut?
I assume it is an Alaska Hut cos it looks like an igloo?
Are the mountains as sinister in real life as they look in the photos or are we projecting our emotions on them?
P.S. Is the jingle truck next to a Texas or Alaska barrier??
Lets see …
The B-hut comes from Base Hut/House as far as I know. I can’t find a reference, so we can make up whatever we want.
Alaska huts – igolos from my point of view. I have heard them called all sorts of other things, just picked the term that their current inhabitants use.
The mountains are harsh and forbidding, not for the weekend climber.
Info on the Barriers
references here, here, and here.
Your quarters look quite cozy. Love the every day photos. And really love the contrast of dust, stark mountains and lace shawl.
Well at least you get to see parts of the world that I would love to see, maybe in the next life I will travel all the time
Thanks so much for the photos. The Hindu-Kush is magnificent. Your quarters look positively comfy! I’m glad you are knitting.
The mountains around Bagram remind me of flying into Salt Lake City. I guess we always look for the familiar when shown something competely different.
Beautiful shots Holly. Funny how I somehow expected the inside of your quarters to be gray, glad they’re a lot more colorful. Where did you get the rug? The mountains are incredible.
Love the photo’s. Have been saving all updates from the field in a special folder. Now having to deal with about 30 head big cows in my yard.
Thanks for the photos! I will put Halloween and the new deck railing on my blog maybe tonight.
probably the only huts and tents with Persian carpets….The stark beauty of the landscape and the “madness” of camp life are striking.
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