Sunday, June 10, 2007

Yeah, You Blend

I went to church this week. I hadn't been since I arrived at Camp Phoenix as Sunday is a regular workday and Mass was previously only celebrated at 3 PM. The time was changed last week to 5 PM, but I forgot it was Sunday so I missed last week. It is easy to forget what day of the week it is because everyday is the same; I remembered this week.

Also, I visited the ISAF compound this week. That is where most of the European forces have their headquarters. In this compound each country has a dining facility and I chose to eat at the French one. I figured that the French have got to have good food and as a bonus I could use the 5 French words I still remember from high school French class. Well, the dining facility was much nicer than our US one. They had real plates and utensils, we use paper and plastic. It's funny how a simple thing like real silverware can be a highlight in your day. The food was pretty good and I was able to have a little Brie and Blue cheese. And of course the bread was excellent. It is nice to have a small diversion from the usual routine. I also saw some of the German vehicles they drive around in. So there is a huge difference between the US and Germany, we are driving around in SUV's (they are Toyotas) and the Germans are driving around in a space age tank looking vehicle that has racing seats and all kinds of cool equipment in it. The vehicle is about 10 feet high and it is impressive rolling down the street.

This week we continued working on inventories and trying to get a handle on all the material. We had some more process review meetings and everyone is very enthusiastic about making change. We also had our team meeting which went well. I presented some future plans and goals to the team and others as well as conducted training sessions on various topics. We plan on having monthly team meetings so we can all keep moving in the right direction.

By now you are wondering about the title to this update. The other day I was meeting with some of my ANA counterparts and we started talking about President Karzai and his hat.

I found out that his hat costs over $1,500 and is made from the skin of a just born lamb. (Editor's Note - I found an article from 2002 saying that the hat cost $35 and was made from an aborted lamb fetus, which I think is better and worse - in that order. Nonetheless, Patrick don't even think for a second about bringing the pelt of any animal - be it aborted, just born or dead by natural causes - back home. Yuck! ) Kind of a sick thought. I don't believe that PETA has made their way to Afghanistan or there would a ban on these hats. The ANA officers started saying how they would like to take me out in town. Of course we are not allowed to do this, unless on convoy, for security reasons. They said they could dress me up in local clothes and since I had dark hair and dark features I could blend in. I imagine I don't blend that much and I am sure most Afghans can pick out Americans without too much problem. So this reminded me of the movie, "My cousin Vinny" when Joe Pesci was saying how he fit in down South and Marisa Tomei (she won a best actress Oscar for this role) said, "Oh yeah, you blend." There I go with another movie reference. Rebecca often remarks that if I did not have any movie quotes I would have nothing to say. I just say, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." (Yes that is from Gone With The Wind).

(Editor's Note, To which I respond: "What we've got here is failure to communicate." COOL HAND LUKE 1967. I've been a Wade for 15 years, I can play this game now too.)Back on the homefront, Madigan had a Father's Day event at school, fortunately my brother Matt who flies for FedEx had a layover in San Diego and was able to stand in for me. He looks enough like me that I am not sure anyone knew any better, except of course Madigan. (Editor's Note: Matt tried to convince Madigan that having him was BETTER than having Dad, but she didn't buy it. Matt also helped us put up our yellow ribbon flag on the front of the house... I had a little trouble because it had grommets not a sleeve.)The kids have a few more days of school until summer break and then they are off to summer activities and driving Rebecca a little crazy. (Editor's Note: Too late, I'm already crazy.)

Until next week, I will continue to blend into my surroundings and stay safe.

Peace to you all,


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