Wednesday, May 10, 2006


10 May 2006

Kind of melancholy lately with the thoughts of leaving and all. I've nearly wanted to sign a contract a few times here out of fear. I know that makes no sense to you out there. You'd think I'd have more fear being over here than coming home, but my fear is that of going home to no job. You get kind of used to that direct deposit filling your account every two weeks. The thought of that not happening for awhile till I've obtained a new job tends to leave me unnerved. I still have a mortgage and utilities and (ack!) gasoline to buy to get around. Still have a dog to keep healthy. Still have to think about what to do until I find that ever-illusive next position.

Not to mention the fact that I've been here so long that I'm leaving behind a lot of aquaintences and friends, some of which I've known since my arrival in Iraq in Feb of 2004. People ask if I'm coming back, or tell me that I'll be back after a few months, but I've learned never to say never to anything anymore. You never know what surprises life has in store for you. There's way too much rattling around in my head right now with only another two weeks till I get out of here. So melancholy is probably the best description of how I feel right now.

The weather has been interesting lately. We've had rain at least once a week around here. The goverment has been leasing out airplanes to crop dust the date palms so with all the rain, they should have one bumper crop of dates. Last night I was up till midnight listening to music. Got up to go to the john and ended up staying outside for another 45 minutes just watching the lightening storm and thunder of an impending storm. The lightening was beautiful to watch.

On Sunday, we had quite a sandstorm come in. I'd never actually saw one come in like that before. Usally, you just step outside and bam! it was sandy/dirty fog outside or it was night when it came in. This time, I got a call from one of our sites out in Taji about 40km away who warned us. "Hey, you guys have a sandstorm coming your way that just hit us."

Sure enough, I step outside and this thing is coming our way. I looks like rolls of clouds moving low to the ground, kind of like the Blob or maybe like the rolling clouds in the Ten Commandments. Next thing you know, the wind picks up, starts blowing dirt around and air is amber/orange colored. You don't want to stay out in this stuff because you'll have inches of dirt in your ears and eyes and will feel the dirt in your scalp in no time flat. The main part of the sandstorm passed in about 15 minutes, but visibilty was probably only 500 feet for the next few hours.

I've got one more trunk to pack up and send off. It's hard to believe that when I leave this time, it is probably for good...or until I come back to see the ruins at Babylon and Nimrud up at Mosul as a tourist once I'm retired.
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