Saturday, 11 September 2010

New home at Finley Sheilds

Finally have some time to u


date the blog! I had been told prior to leaving for R & R in July that I would be reassigned to a key terrain district that's part of prioritizing key population and commerce routes in the country. My new assignment is the Behsud district, near Jalalabad, the second largest population center in Afghanistan. After going back to Blessing in Mid - August and finishing up some work there I spent two weeks working at Brigade helping with some administrative stuff; then on to my new home at Finley - Shields, the home of the Nagarhar PRT as well as the Behsud District Support Team. A total of 9 civilians from 3 agencies (Dept. of State, US Aid for International Development, and USDA) work here and its nice to be part of a larger team. Plus the Missouri Agribusiness Development Team (ADT) call FS home, and they have a great amount of expertise as well as affording us ag guys more access to trips off the base. Their Ag Team leader is an attorney and we share a fondness for pie - he told a story at dinner last night about going to a St. Louis restaurant known for excellent pie and having several pieces of pie for dinner - no main course, just pie - my kinda guy! Anyways, the base is partially an older soviet resort built several decades ago and features an old motel (pictured) where I have my room (also pictured.) I share the room with one of the army medics; a great guy and he has tapped into my guitar playing knowledge to learn a few songs on the guitar. The base also employs a full time gardener who keeps the flower plantings kept up and the grass mowed. We have a flower garden outside the old motel (pictures) with a sitting bench and paths, a nice place to relax when its cool enough to be outside. The heat continues to be relentless, with temperatures still well into the 90's for much of the day and quite a bit of humidity as well. (I believe I can safely take home my insulated coveralls.) The base also has an outdoor swimming pool - currently dry and used as a basketball court. Hopefully I can get a picture of that - except for the fact that -

My camera fell in the mud during a trip off the base earlier this week and still hasn't recovered from the immersion; the incident appears to have slowed the shutter speed and I can only take pictures under very low lighting conditions. My apologies for the poor picture quality and hopefully this will get better as time goes along?

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