[Chat] Its now May 31 and only 7 months to go

Chat@charlesvillage.info Chat@charlesvillage.info
Sun, 01 Jun 2003 07:12:09 +0400

Hello again,

A friend of mine has designed a website where you can find pictures and other items of interest regarding my tour over here.  The address is:
http://home.earthlink.net/~wbsphotos/ I also recommend my HQ website at http://www.vcorps.army.mil/www/default.htm.

In the past two weeks I have been sick, had a brief encounter with a deadly snake (we think), and started playing Spades every other night.

On May 17th I had a opportunity to ride into downtown Baghdad on a mission to visit the police HQ.  While there we were offered some pita bread with goat cheese and some hot sweetened tea.  Two days later I and all the other who indulged became quite ill.  I was laid up for three days overall.  The doctor gave mew two bags of saline solution to rehydrate me and to lower the fever - i was actually chilly.  Now with the help of Cipro, an antibiotic, and generic Imodium I am back to snuff.

While down town I saw mule-drawn carts sharing the 4-lane highways with pedestrians and cars - quite a sight.  The medians are used for gardening, though i saw nothing growing now - just a lot of dirt.  Goats were in evidence and, I am told, help keep the trash under control - so much so that their owners objected when our troops came in to clean up trash.

The people milling around the downtown market (essentially a 2-mile long flea/farmers market) seemed pleased we were driving through, many wearing western t-shirts and saying "no Saddam", "love Bush".  Traffic was out of control and it took us two hours to go about 5 miles.  Kids lined the road looking for handouts - they literally dove after the MREs we threw to them.  Occassionally, I saw some green well-kept lawns in the distance, but most of the city I saw was dirty and dusty.

The grounds where i live look like a Hollywood set for the Ten Commandments.  There are 10-foot high reeds around all of the water and the buildings have a definite Cleopatra-like look.  There are flower gardens and I even saw a hybiscus blooming the other day and a couple of sunflowers.  This week we are supposed to get glass installed in our only window (about 10 x 8), but there is no mention of when our AC will be up and running.  Despite the bugs and dust we prefer the open window to no ventilation.

One of my roommates thought he had a ticket home by way of a hernia, but it appears he got as far as Germany and was told the injury was not serious enough to warrant going home for an operation.  So we may see home again - madder than a wet hen!!  

I on the other hand am still very busy and finding only a little extra time to indulge in some singing (after work in the AM) at the chapel, using a spare bathroom as my practice room - the facilikties are out of order anyway.  On nights when i do not come to work until 1am, i am playing Spades with our commander and some of his cronies.  My Bridge knowledge helps a bit with Spades, and my partner likes my style.  We are 2 & 2 so far.

Sometime soon I need to figure out how to weave a workout routine into my day.  We are all now expected to do PT 3-4 times a week and pass a PT test eventually.  That was my nemesis before coming over here, now it looms again - though what will they do if i do not pass - send me home??  HA - wishful thinking!!

Anyway, your boxes and letters are slowly arriving again.  I go five just yesterday.  Mail takes a circuitous route to get to me, but it does arrive in 2-3 weeks, generally.  I do not need any more toiletries, but snacks like Beef Jerkey and Macadamia/smoked almonds are good.  Also Tuna fish in a pouch!!  I also have enough drink mixes for now.  Thanks to all who have thought of me!!  I do not always find it easy to write individual notes of thanks.

The weather the last few days has been quite nice and we even had rain (mixed with dust) the other night.  I'm sure move 100plus days are close at hand though.  

Well, that is all for now.   I hope I'm home by early January.

>From the Palace,