Hello there all and sorry that I didn't get around to a post this past weekend. The days have been pretty busy but really nothing exciting for the most part. Largely it was getting the old team out of here and dealing with a million and one tasks that we now all have to ourselves. But the good news is that the time away from the blog gave me the opportunity - just this evening as a matter of fact - to photo the one last creature we share our world with so I can post it when I show you all the wonderful wildlife here. So all is not lost my friends. I promise the next post will have photos.
The purpose of this quick post will be a little on the heavier side than what you're used to seeing here. Basically, I wanted to remind those who pray to please do so for our men and women here. I have learned this past week in talking to several folks that there are a few here who are really home-sick and really somewhat hurting from the time and distance away from family. Of the 40+ "employees" here only 8 are military. About another dozen or so are full blooded American citizens who happen to hold high level degrees and/or positions back in the states which make them uniquely suited to help in our efforts here to teach this country how to run itself. Well, they get recruited in various ways and sign up for a 1 year tour here out of either curiosity, looking for a change of pace, looking to serve America, or usually a combination of "all the above".
The thing is - the term culture shock can not be understood by those who have never suffered from it...but they use the word "shock" for a reason. And the isolation that you feel at times from being so far away from home can be pretty great as well. Me, I hate it. But I'm not going to lie, I'm OK with it because I understand it, it's what I need to do for this one year, and at least I have done it before sans the wife and dogs - kind of like a "dry run" we'll say. I won't say that I wasn't quite surly and somewhat pissed at everything and nothing when I was getting on the plane to leave the States. But now that I'm here I'm in something of a routine and the time is passing faster than I expected so far...so I'm doing quite alright. But unfortunately, that's not the same for all of us here. I have already talked to two civilians and one Soldier who isn't taking it all in stride and they are really hurting inside. I can honestly say that I've never seen a 50+ year old man cry in front of me before and hope to never have to see it again...unless of course he's crying for joy because he's going home that is.
I and others continue to offer a sympathetic ear and all the support we can. For those of us in the military we treat the civilians pretty much the same as we do other members of the military. After all, as we say, it's "one team - one fight" no matter who you are. And when one is hurting the rest do feel it. But hopefully as with most things "this too will pass" and I really think it's just a rough patch for these guys and in the long run they'll be quite fine.
But in the mean time I do ask all those who pray to please remember not just me but those other folks on my team, military and civililan alike, and all those serving so far away from their family, friends, and a home and in a culture that we understand because we're used to it. God gives us his strength when our own isn't great enough - and it rarely is.
For now, I'm signing off and heading home for the night. And praying myself that nothing in my photo collection for the next blog is waiting for me in my room.