And by "back there", I pretty much mean everywhere except in Iraq and Vancouver... No snow here, but we get some nasty yucky messy mud when it rains! Or, when the fire department hoses down parts of a race course. I ran the "Slayer Scramble" this morning, an X-Dog event, http://www.xdogevents.com/slayerscramble.php which was great! I'm pretty beat now though. I'll post some pics of that too.
I know I've been really bad about posting here, and I've been pretty bad about keeping up with writing anyone (except for Victoria), but I'll get better! As I mentioned in last post, it's much easier for me to post pictures by just loading them on my Picasa site, and just include the link here, so check there for pics! No good excuse for not writing much, but I have been pretty busy (and the internet is not nearly as fast or reliable as it is back home).
So pics will always be here:
(I just need to start putting some labels/explanations on them)
And I've been working on pimping out my chu (that's compartmentalized housing unit) - it's a mess now, but I'll post some pics soon. Vic sent me some things from home, and I've been ordering things online. Pretty much all online stores will ship out here (with some exceptions, like I don't think anyone will ship electronics out here).
My room is in a mobile home-like building split into thirds, I'm in the middle room. There are no bathrooms or showers attached. The showers are in a trailer, and the bathrooms are in a different trailer. But I'm lucky because I only have about a 50' walk to either trailer - that's about the closest of anybody out here, I'm in a good spot.
My "trailer" where I work is tucked around behind the Al Faw Palace. I posted a few pics of the trailer already.
I don't have any pics (yet?) of the dinning facility (DFAC), because we're not supposed to take pics in there. But I'll get some sooner or later. The one shot I posted of guy cooking on a makeshift grill was at a local Iraqi restaurant in the Iraqi forces section of the base. That was an interesting dinner, pretty good food actually.
Do I ever leave the base? No. I don't have any reason to leave the base. Whenever I run, it's always inside the wire. If I were to leave the base for a meeting or something, I'd probably fly out to another similar secure base. I don't think I'll be driving out of the gate, but if so, I'd be all dressed out in body armor, in an armored vehicle, in a convoy, with lots of pros at that work... but I really don't see that happening.
The weather has been mostly nice since I got here. Highs have been 60's-70's, lows mostly in 50's, but lately some nights down to freezing (hit 28 a while back). It's drizzled a lot, but really rained a lot just once - what a mess! I really didn't expect this much cold... But I'll miss it when it gets up to 120-130!
And to answer a couple of questions...
1. Do you have much contact with the locals or should I assume you guys are fairly insulated there?
-- Since I never leave the base, no contact with "locals", but there are a bunch of TCNs (Third Country Nationals) or all kinds of nationalities that work here, and I try to interact with them. (I'm working on my Ugandan... "Sula Bulungi"!)
2. And no, I haven't found the hot tub in the palace... yet.