Sunday, July 19, 2009

New sheriff in town

Friday, we had our official transfer of authority ceremony here in Afghanistan and took over full responsibility for the reconstruction of the province. It was a traditional military ceremony presided over by a colonel, with at least one general in attendance. We stood at attention while our unit flag was unfurled (that's me above, commanding our band of warriors), saluted for the national anthem, and sang the Air Force and Army songs.

Since then, we have been busy moving offices (trying to make the most efficient use of our small space), cleaning and sorting through all the supplies left behind. The medics who work with me—known around here as "the Girls"—spent the day sorting medical supplies and stocking our medical kits. It is difficult to decide what is necessary to carry versus what is just nice to have. So far, we are finding ways to strike a good balance. Ninety-nine percent of the time, we will simply need ice packs and ibuprofen, but it's that 1 percent of the time when we need to save a life that we don't want to find our supplies lacking.

When we are not working, we are enjoying what amenities we have here. There are two gyms within a block of our living quarters, two dining halls and even a USO with big comfy chairs to relax in. There is a post exchange store with all the comforts of home and a coffee shop. (I find the coffee bitter and am thrilled to have my own coffee maker in my office and lots of good coffee left behind for me to use.) If only my family was here, I would have all the comforts of home!!

[Editor's note: Lori's Internet connection failed just as she was completing this posting, which probably explains why the photo she refers to is missing. She will add the photo when her schedule permits.]


  1. Lori,

    Remember me? Paul and Steph's sister/sister in-law from your Darnestown days. Meg's great about circulating your blog, and you are amazing for venturing out in Afghanistan. Everyone is so proud of you, and in complete awe. Take care of yourself and those lovely Afghan kids. Best from Bend, Oregon.

  2. Christine - how could I forget? Our evenings spent playing poker and sharing laughs are some of my most favorite memories. Thank you for the kind words. What are you doing in Bend??