AfghaniDan

A young man's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk...and apparently, back again.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

The details of my life are quite inconsequential, really. Summers in Rangoon...luge lessons...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Jbad to Agam, Part II

The continuation of my jaunt into southern Nangahar province...


There is always a strong chance that one or more vehicles will struggle to start back up when the convoy pauses for any reason. These Marines are bringing up the always-essential tow bar...

While our interpreter Rocky (they all have great nicknames, like callsigns) greets a friend of his, and local boys run up to the scene.

The boys are always the most excited ones in town when our convoys stop, or even just pass through (and they all want pens and radios, every single one of them)...

While the men of the village are no less interested in what's going on. We wound up towing the HMMWV to our destination, where some engine-smart Marines and soldiers found the problem and fixed it.

From this site, we could see one newly-begun construction project, which the sign up above was explaining...

And a recently completed one, with those oh-so-tempting slopes in the background. Then we hit the road again...

I wrote here something illegible, but believe it said "not a road, but a dirt bobsled run," which is pretty much what this downhill resembled, if bobsleds had to worry about other sleds coming around the turns at them.

This boulder-covered riverbed is where the "road" continued for a little while. Not bouncy, not at all...

As we got close to our destination and were finding the right 45-degree grade to climb, we had to reverse the convoy a bit. Naturally, that's the signal for Afghans to pile out of their vehicles and walk right up to our front bumpers...

Or scramble up next to the vehicle doors and angle for a good look inside...

They just kept coming! It was like "The Birds," only with kids. I was truly hoping we could stop without plastering one on our engine block (thankfully, we were).

The descent on the way back from the event now, with that same riverbed waiting ahead. You have to stop for livestock a lot, since they don't really feel much like getting out of your way.

Some scenes from an Afghan hill village on the return drive...



Then came another vehicle adventure, as the HMMWV behind mine was forced off the road by a maniacal passing minibus...
Though since we managed to stay on the road, our driver chalked it up to the Army's lack of combat driving skills.

As you can see, it off-roaded in a pretty precarious spot...

Despite our warnings to clear out of the way, should the multi-ton vehicle flip, the locals decided that the front porch would be a good spot to congregate. As I predicted at the time, the homeowner was scheming, "How can I make money from this?"

So the tow bar came out again, and was put to use...

And once again, a crowd gathered in amusement. My call was correct about the homeowner--now understand, we dole out compensation any time property is destroyed--but for a tire track on a road embankment that you don't own? Sorry, pal!

Thus concludes the photo journey. Stay tuned for a recap of the event itself.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Cousin Tim said...

I guess livestock in Afghanistan are no different than those damned dirty, tattered sheep in Ireland! But then again, those sheep were probably drunk!

March 30, 2006 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

"Army's lack of combat driving skills" ... hey, my husband is Army Transportation in Afghanistan right now. :o)

Just wanted to let you know that I really like your site and have been following it for a bit over a month. The photos help me get a better picture of what my husband might see every day and I enjoy your writing as well. Thanks!

March 30, 2006 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Saoirse said...

Incredible pictures! I had to chuckle at the minibus incident.

Thank You!!

April 3, 2006 at 10:43 AM  

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