Tuesday, September 07, 2004

New in Camp Anaconda

A few more seminars this morning for local orientation. The usual; environmental, health (drink lots of water!!!) but the security briefing was very interesting! We are here so the soldiers can stop doing what we'll be doing (maintenance) and go visit their families at home. In other words, we are here to support our client--the army. Incredible people come out here and success depends on working together, not thinking selfishly.
It's a small "town" here about 1000M x 2000M and trouble starts with not thinking about those who are "behind, in front, and the left and on the right." Basically, everything we are taught in church about thinking about others, conservatism in dress, word of wisdom, etc. are in force here. So I'm already well trained. Plus, there is already a lot of comradery, others have been kind and looking out for me, making sure I get info for meetings, supplies, etc. We give tips to each other. They say it will take about a month "to get our groove on"--get used to the place, the drills, heat, etc.
Where we live is called a "hooch". An aluminum box is a "cheese-box' and my trailer is a---dang, I forgot but there are names for everything. The bathroom is, of course, "the head." I am assigned, at this point, to Kirkuk. They are not ready for me for awhile so I will be here in camp Anaconda (vicinity Baghdad) for a few weeks or longer (knowing government efficiency). The preliminary list actually has me on small-arms maintenance, interestingly enough, but nothing's for sure. I wish I could think of away to get pics to you but for now I’ve only words to describe.
Safety is the first concern of my employers and we are protected by the military, safety standards, and there are health support, medical, etc. For example, there are different levels of heat for working, the worst, which is the case most of the day, we work 20 minutes and cool for 10. We wear flack jackets when out-doors and most buildings are protected by bunker-like sand-bags and big cement slabs. Indoors our gear is right next to us. Ok, that's the latest. It's the middle of the day and the stock market isn't even open, actually, you probably just went to bed. later! Ernie

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