Monday, January 31, 2005

Election Day, Iraq

Election Day, Iraq Woke up to two loud booms followed by a bunker call each. A little smoke rising the city. And it looked like one of our guard towers had a fire or a BBQ going in it, but it was just smoking out a window. Helicopters are often seen cruising the border wire or heading out into the city. Despite all that early this morning, it has been 5 very quiet hours so far, the day half through now.
I had a special skateboard shipped over to me here in Iraq. It has 6 inch wheels instead of 2 in wheels to smooth the gravel and cracks. Riding it to church today brought many a stare. Probably the only skateboard on an army base in Iraq. I passed one older gentlemen, obviously of local descent. He stuck one finger in the air and smilingly said, with thick Arabic accent, “That is a very smart thing!” They seem faintly amused by what must be eccentric Americanisms to them. Actually, the Americans seemed amused too. Actually, I was amused, that’s why I got it.
OK, it is now past 4pm, it appears the election turn out has exceeded expectations. And it still is a very quiet day and is almost done. The nay-sayers appear to have been wrong--AGAIN! They have almost a perfect record going. Shows you why Faith is stronger than fear. I pray the day will end as well as it has begun. So on this quiet day, I have found a very cool website, I think you will really love it if you go to this website and in the first part of the second paragraph, click on the “interactive slide show with photos.” You will really dig it! Little 60’s lingo there. Anyway, the very last slide you will see some Iraqi children putting on new shoes. They go out even in this winter weather without because they simply have none. The link is:

http://www.iraqischools.com/

Ok, that is the latest. Sorry for the barrage of emails, but it’s a significant time and place in history. There are two pics below, the first is the helicopters I saw this morning watching over the city. Some Election Protection, if you will. It has been quiet since. The second is the funny guy that went through the base earlier today on his way to church. Even though near empty on base, the church meeting was well attended.
The lesson I prepared was on Joseph Smith, being the right man at the right place at the right time. I suggested that we play a part in God’s Plan too and that I believed they were here in Iraq now, the right men at the right time at the right place. (no sisters in that meeting today) Me? I’m just here to watch ‘em do their thing and have a good time! Go good guys!
This is Ernie, skateboarding, I mean, REPORTING from Iraq.

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