Letters from Afghanistan

Two Weeks Later

Two weeks have passed since I last wrote a letter from Kandahar, and it was not for lack of will. After doing a few 16-hour work days, there was also the ramp ceremony fo Trooper Karine Blais, who is the first person I knew personally to be killed here. These things are especially hard for us at Maintenance, because we are the ones who are dispatched to collect the damaged vehicles, and it's never easy to look at what remains of a vehicle in which someone you knew died. We will all remember you, Karine.

On a lighter note, Saturday is Bazaar Day at KAF. Local merchants can come in and sell their wares for a haggled price. There is a plethora of Afghan rugs, fake jewelery, knock-off sunglasses and novelty items. I did not see anything that particularly caught my interest, but when I saw a young Afghan boy selling a novelty scorpion in a box, I had to turn around and make an offer to buy it. I knelt down in front of him and asked how much he wanted for it. His asking price was $20 US, which was absurdly high, so I neogtiated him down to $5. However, upon opening my wallet, I saw that I had nothing less than a ten dollar bill, so I broke down and gave him $10. What else was I going to do with it? In th back of my mind was the nagging thought that maybe I was paying for another IED that would kill another friend, but I decided that I had to give him the benefit of the doubt. How can I say that I'm here to help them rebuild their country if I'm not willing to trust them?

 

Tabby, who I believe answers to a different name each roto, has also been a regular follower of mine lately. Yesterday, she followed me frmo the British REME compound to NSE Maintenance. I also found a bottle of kitty treats that the last roto left, but she was not interested. Justr a scratch on the head, thank-you very much.