Saturday, 23 October 2010

PRT farewell dinner

The Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team went to a provincial official's house for a dinner party since the military part of the PRT will be leaving in late Oct. - early Nov. These pictures show some of our PRT staff - Rob Stubina (USAID) visiting with CPT Leen, and the CPT Danner, Major Levanthal and Magda Ahmad, our USAID representative on the Behsud District Support Team. The dinner was held outside in a beautiful grassy courtyard - CPT Danner said she had to actually feel the grass to see if it was real - covered with Afghan carpets. The chairs set around the perimeter were for the convenience of us guests as a place to sit to remove our shoes.
I have to tell about one of the most memorable stories from my experiences in Afghanistan so far. I was working at brigade and sitting in a development brief along with the brigade military and civilian leadership. The discussion got around to combat activity, usually referred to in the vernacular as "kinetic" activity. Major Levanthal was giving the PRT brief on that particular day. When asked about kinetic activity she responded the only kinetic activity she was contemplating was, in her words, "bitchslapping the provincial XO" because he had wrongfully accused the PRT during a social dinner. The brigade brief room was just rolling in the aisles and I had this vision of Major Levanthal grabbing this particular individual by the collar and treating him to what she described. She is such a friendly, social and positive person it was hard to imagine her doing it with anything less than a smile on her face.

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