Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Big 4 Months

Hunter is now officially 4 Months Old. Isn't he a handsome devil? From what I understand he spent most his day travelling around with Kathy. He is certainly getting big. He wears '6 month old' size clothes, and they fit him comfortably. I can imagine this guy is going to be quite strong, just like his big brother.

Afghanistan Slideshow

Here is a slideshow of some of the pictures I have taken of 
Afghanistan so far.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Afghanistan


The Kunar Province of Afghanistan is remarkable. I have been here for many months and the landscape still amazes me. In Northern Afghanistan the dominant language is Pashto. I have been learning this language slowly, as it is quite alien from our own. I have a vocabulary of about 100 words, and I am still learning. I feel silly when I talk to the locals as I am sure I sound like a caveman. It is normal with Pashtuns to be extremely polite, so the embarrassment of my repeated failures on pronunciation are non-existent. The majority of the locals hate the Taliban as much as we do, and absolutely love America. The translators are always asking questions about America and what they need to do to move there. I receive about 5 or 6 offers to convert to Islam a day. The surprise is quite apparent when they ask me "shta muslim sari" (You muslim man?) and I respond with "Zh Nah Muslim" (I am not Muslim). They cannot believe that someone so willing to help muslims would not be a muslim himself. I have even been told that I would go to hell if I didn't convert, and that they honestly did not want that fate for me. They are a very sincere people, so I do not doubt their motives. I kindly tell them that I am not concerned with whether or not I will go to hell, and that I am more concerned about what I can do to make this world a better place. That seems to baffle them even more.

Kathy

Kathy and I have been married for almost 5 years now. We have known eachother for nearly 8 years. We are very much in love with eachother, and our 3 wonderful children. This deployment has been difficult, but we have rarely been strangers to being in a situation of geographical seperation. It seems the fates have it in our lot to love eachother from afar. I remember the first time I saw Kathy. She went up in a testimony meeting and shared her feelings on the Gospel and the Book of Mormon. All I can remember is her saying "It's a really good book." I was dating a girl named Sarah V. at the time and asked her who that girl was. She said that Kathy was a "very bad girl." Interesting I was to end up marrying that "very bad girl" and find out what she truly is, a pearl of infinite worth. We didn't actually meet until a few months later at a Quad-Stake dance. Sarah and I had recently broken up, and I was in no mood to socialize. Kathy (un-beknownst to me at the time) was upset with her controlling boyfriend and decided to sit and talk with me because I looked lonely. She and I talked about video games (We were and still are gamers) and other things. We became immediate friends and stayed that way for some time. Then things started to happen. Katie (my Sister) was interested in this guy named Ben.  With our religion (LDS) we are required to go on double dates, and she needed someone to go with, so she asked me if I would go, if she hooked me up with a blind date. I obliged. The blind date was a girl named Jamie and was fairly fun, but I didn't feel any friendship potential with her. I told Katie the only way I would go on another double-date was if I got to choose my next date. I asked Kathy and she accepted. We had a blast for several months hanging out as friends, and then it just slowly grew until we decided we wanted to spend all eternity with one another. Kathy and I have been through a lot together, and there is no one I think I can trust more. I only hope that one day the fates will bless us with the ability to spend more than a few months together at a time.

Peyton

Peyton is our oldest child and only daughter. She is, as my wife says: "Daddy's little girl". I don't know what it is, but there is a powerful bond between Father and Daughter. I remember a year or two ago, we were going up to Grams' and Opa's house for a visit. We needed to stop for some fuel and it was a warm sunny day, so we had the windows down. Peyton was sitting at the Rear Driver's side, and was looking at me as I was refueling the Saturn (Georgina). I looked at her, and she looked up at me, tilted her head, and asked in a clear voice "God?" I couldn't help but laugh and say "Not exactly". Kathy just laughed and said, give it another 15 years and she will do the same thing, but only say "Satan?".

baby development

Broc

Broc is my first son of two. He is in the difficult 'middle child' position, which leads me to believe he will be the glue between the three. Broc and I have a very close relationship. I have many memories of rough-housing with him, and just hanging out. I can tell from Kathy's observations that this deployment has been really hard on him. He is always looking for me saying "Dada" and other things. He has a very strong personality and can be quite sensitive to others. He and Peyton pal around all the time.

baby

Hunter

I have been watching my children grow like weeds, through photographs. Broc and Peyton have grown so much since I remember them. My youngest son (Hunter) and I have only briefly met. I had the luxury of spending alot of time with Peyton during her infancy, as well as a good portion of Broc's. From what it seems though, he is quite the feeder. It seems I can't speak with Kathy for more than an hour before that guy needs a refill. Kathy says he reminds her of me quite a bit.  I often imagine how great it will be when I finally get to spend some time with him and create an actual connection with him.

baby

My first entry

Well, this is my first blog entry, ever. I have been in Afghanistan now for over 4 months serving as the chief medic on a small Combat Outpost. You can see the Kunar river from where we are at, and the mountains that seem to be walls jetting above it. We have the luxury of climbing these mountains for various tactical reasons. I miss my family very much and I am looking forward to spending time with them. It's funny how being away from the ones you love, only makes you realize how much you have taken them for granted.