It was 11 years ago that I boarded a bus bound for the Balkans to spend 6 months heading a medical task force.
Think back. The Serbians, Bosnians and Croatians had pretty much finished blowing each other up, leaving the countryside full of burned out houses and the fields littered with mines. The initial NATO action had lasted over a year and we were now into the Stabilization Force.
Passover was just a few days ahead and I would be spending it in Taszar, Hungary with a detour to Budapest for the Seder.
I started an email list to family and friends in that time period after FidoNet, but before Yahoo groups, or the WWW being widespread. When LISTSERV was considered really good software and no one had been hit with VISTA.
For the next six months, I will inflict the occasional entry on you. Partly for the contrast and a bit because the world has changed so much in the last 11 years. For those of you who read these the first time around – please feel free to move on to the knitting portion.
On the Road to Bosnia – 9 April 1998
Had everyone at the departure location by 1330 yesterday; spent the afternoon doing briefings, drawing weapons, and doing last minute running around on post.
We loaded up the buses right after supper and rolled at 1900. This is a lonnggggg drive—trust me.
At 22:30 received the word that Bus number 5 of six broke down. It and Bus 6 were to wait for a new bus, and would be about 1 1/2 hours behind us. Rest stop at 22:30, rest stop at 03:10—nothing like being woken up to go back to sleep. We got in at 7:30. Unloaded all of our gear, set up in tents, got some breakfast, and the last two buses pulled in at 10:00.
So here we are, 124 people sitting, in tents, in the rain, in Hungary. All ok, everyone accounted for. Now to be briefed on the rules of the base and the schedule for the next couple of days while we make plans for the trip south.
More later—but will keep you all posted. You know that I am doing ok and not overworked when I have time to write.
The body, as you saw a couple of days ago is complete. This evening
I sewed steeks,
cut those in the front of the cardigan
and moved on to the sleeves –
and made the second cut.
May I mention something for those of you who do not do this often. No, not a glass of wine, but a knitting hint. Most references will tell you to alternate colors in the steek resulting in a checkerboard effect. I keep the colors lined up. This gives me these nice stripes. It also makes it extremely easy to follow columns for both sewing and cutting (see photo above)….. My eyes are not as young as they were and tracing grey all the way down a sleeve is not easy. But following red/orange when in contrasts to grey? Hey, i can do that! In the same way, I use a contrasting thread on the bottom so I can see the stitches.
Yesterday, as I was changing trains at Frankfurt-Niederrad I notice these
The colors are still ugly even with an attempt at designs painted on the end. One more former US Military housing area in use until about 1993 when V Corps moved from Frankfurt. As with most of the housing areas turned back to the Germans, they were promptly used as much needed housing.