Afghan Dispatch #9: Public Transportation (Originally Sent on June 19th, 2012)

Sorry that it’s been awhile folks, but the area I work in has been extremely calm, and I’ve had little to write about.  

Part of our job over here is to ensure that we set the Afghans up for success when we leave. To that end,  I escorted one of my counterparts to a class on a larger base.  To do this, I violated a promise I made to myself. I took a ride in an MV-22 Osprey(Google it). The Afghan had never flown before so it was interesting to study his face as we ran up the ramp of the aircraft, and subsequently lifted off.  He was sitting directly across from me, so I was concerned that I might end up wearing whatever he ate last night for dinner.
Getting the man to agree to go to the class was also an interesting challenge.  During this, I discovered that he lives in a mud hut with his wife and children, and that he has three cows.  I made arrangements for his cousin to have time off work to look after them.  I also had to make sure that he wasn’t a pothead, and that he had more than one change of clothes.  That last part took some wheelin’ and dealin.’
Anyways, so now my guy is enrolled in(read: being herded by) the class, and I’m left on an enormous base with tons of amenities while I wait for my next opportunity to crash.  The base is so large that a multiple-route bus system has been instituted to make it easier to get around.  Today my driver was an Eastern-European that hated being a bus driver with an Eastern-European passion.  He yelled at passengers so much it made me feel like I was riding the school bus. Strangely, all of his cursing was in English.

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