Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Just Another Day in Paradise

Just Another Day in Paradise
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
11:37:00 PM CST

24 Feb 2004

Day off today. I slept in for a change. It was windy and cold again last night, so I pulled a blanket over my head and stayed warm. This tent is pretty torn up and lets all the wind go through it. Dave from switch, Chuck who is waiting here for a convoy to Taji and I went over to BIAP to shop and look around. Chuck just came down from Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq and is transferring to Taji. He was telling us horror stories of his arrival on site three months ago. He was among the first contractors from ITT on site at Anaconda. Just like my buddy Sal who went up to Kabul, Afghanistan, they ended up sleeping in sleeping bags on the rocks at the airport. ITT has a habit of deploying you to remote sites unannounced and then you just hit the ground running. Adds a little excitement to the new experience.

Went to the Haji Bazarre on BIAP to look at their wares. Beautiful oriental carpets from Iran. I found a nice 8X11 in blue, cream and reds that was made of wool and silk. I forget the knot count, but it was a handwoven rug. He wanted $3300 for it and in the States, I know that it is worth quite a bit more than that. But, I passed on it this time. I want to pay off bills first before incuring more debt.

Owen is leaving us at Camp Victory. He was another guy that I had gone through CRC with at Ft. Bliss. ITT hired him as a Satcom (satellite communications) tech and maintenance, but we don't have any satcom here at Victory. The army is maintaining it. He doesn't want to lose the skills that he spent 8 years in the Army building and they don't have anywhere to move him where he could be working on satcom equipment, so he found a new job in Iraq with another company. He gave his notice yesterday, but they won't let him leave until our management talks with the country manager. Owen says that if he isn't out of here by tomorrow, he will just get a ride to the airport himself and leave. He will have to go back to the US and go through CRC at Ft Bliss again and then will come back through Camp Doha, Baghdad and go up to Camp Anaconda at Balad. The other company has their equipment in place and has a real job for him to do, so he will be working on satcom equipment again. Good on him!
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