Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Arrival February 2004

Finally got in country 2 days ago. The ride in from Kuwait was quite interesting and a litle pucker factor was present the whole way. The compound here is pretty nice. We are living in CONEX boxes, 2 to a box (sort of like what you see put onto container ships). There is a bathroom in the middle of each box, so we each have our own private living area. New beds, linens and new desk and wall locker. Even has an AC unit. Our office on the compound is in one of the elongated pre-fab trailers, and has 3 email computers, so it aint bad living here. I did manage to get some very tasty chow following arrival - one thing I can't complain about here is the food. Much better than MRE's! CRG is the other firm here doing protection for all the other individuals beyond our principal. They are a british firm similar to Blackwater, a private US contrator. We share one side of the compound while the Brits have the other. Not a lot of co-mingling that I can see. Separate facilities, dining, and hooches. Overall, it could be a lot worse. We drove thru town yesterday on our first mission. The place is one of the nastiest, most poverty striken countries Ive seen. Ranks right up there with the slum areas of Manila and New Dehli. Horrible living conditions for the locals; all dirt and mud streets, lots of stray dogs and garbage everywhere you look. The air is filled with the smell of burning garbage and tires and has a permanenet haze about it. It was pretty amazing driving up from Kuwait. There were dozens of burned out tanks and BMPs still lying in the fields. Many of the bridges we crossed had only one side open as the other had been bombed and destroyed. Have got a long drive and overnight stay elsewhere today. Was hoping to see my sister Kathy on Saturday but that trip got cancelled at the last minute and a new one came up. At least we are keeping busy.

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