I've been trying to stay (get) in shape while I'm here. One of my main workouts is running. Today, I ran around the base for the third time; it's about 7.8 miles round trip. I usually do shorter runs during the week and a long run on Sunday morning. The perimeter road is fine in someplaces, but several sections are riddled with potholes, muddy shoulders, and rocks. Depending on when it last rained, can really make a difference on the running conditions. I've included a picture of my shoe/calf from after my run this morning so show how caked the mud can get after running for over an hour through the Bagram terrain. I like to say that my shoes are covered in BAF!
Also, some of the road runs directly along the perimeter fenceline. Outside the fence are fields and houses of the local Afghanistan people. Many times we will see people working out in these fields, sometimes there are children tending to goats or just wandering around along the fence. Sometimes they wave and smiles, and sometimes they throw rocks at us or our vehicles. Last Sunday, as I passed along this fence, two children were shouting at me to get my attention, but the people running next to me said, "Don't look, they want you to stop so they can throw rocks at you." I kept going without really looking at them. Moments later, I could hear rocks landing near me. I didn't get hit; it actually probably helped motivate me to run a little faster. We are told that some of the village elders will pay the children for each vehicle or person they can hit with rocks. Not exactly the welcome feeling you want from your neighbors. I'm not sure the local people are getting the message that we want to help them.