Sorry to keep you in suspense... but, I'm here now. Actually, I've been here for 4 days... 4 very busy days, and I'm just now able to take some time to enter a post into my blog.
A lot has happened over the past few days, I'm sure I can't possibly convey it all, but I'll try to hit some highlights...
First of all let me tell you a little about where I am. Bagram Air Base is located 27 miles outside the capital city of Kabul in Northeast Afghanistan. The elevation is just shy of 5000ft. We are nestled in amongst 270 degrees of tall snow-capped mountain peaks. The land is amazingly flat until it sharply meet the mountains which dramatically tower over the base from a distance. It is a high desert evironment with minimal vegetation. The temperature swings about 30-40 degrees each day. Currently we are experiencing unseasonably warm tempertatures which have reached to even 61 degrees this week. Over night, it will drop to the high 20's or low 30's. Snow is forecasted for this weekend, that will be the first precipitation I've seen since I arrived. Weatherwise, it is much more bearable than Kyrgyzstan.
My first few days have been filled with meeting the team that we are replacing and trying to absorb as much information from them as possible. Most of them leave this coming Monday night. So, for the time being, everyone is doubled up and space is at a premium. In our office there is a lack of space, so I have not had a dedicated desk or computer which has made it hard for me to keep in touch. We are sleeping in 8x16 rooms with 4 people (two of which will be going home next week) -- that will free up some more space. It is nice to not be in a tent or on a cot. Our rooms are essentially CONEX steel shipping containers that have been converted into living quarters (I'll explain this in another posting).
I finally was able to setup an internet connection in my room, which is where I'm typing this from now. As the days continue, my schedule will tend to normalize, but at this point, everyday has been unique. I think I'll be able to make more frequent posts in the future.
The days are full and go by fast. I have been getting up around 5:30 each day to exercise and get ready. We meet at our office (which is just a short walk from our billets) and a group of us all head to breakfast at 6:30. The work day starts at 7am and ends at 7pm. After that, there's just a little time to wind down, take a shower, and go to bed around 9-10. Then it starts all over again the next day. Tomorrow is Sunday, and that is our day off; though, I'm sure at some point some of us will still go by the office just to check email or connect with other people who hang out in the conference room or use the phones to make morale calls home. That's just how it goes... there are not a lot of other options of what to do on your day off. I plan to sleep in a little and find a chapel service to go to, plus get some of my stuff organized and ready for the coming week.
This turned out to be a long entry... for those of you who are still reading, thanks for bearing with me as I recount the details of my time here. I'll try not to let so much time go by between posts so that I don't have an overload of information to pass on. I still have lots to tell and I'll try to include some pictures in future posts so you can see some of my experience as well. Until then, thanks again for staying tuned.