Saturday, May 04, 2013

1 Year in Afghanistan
 This will be the last post from Afghanistan, I fly out in an hour and should be packing.  It has been an amazing experience.  I am leaving a better person.  I have met so many life long friends and my experience instructing classes, competing with CrossFit and working at the US Embassy Kabul has made me a more confident person.  I am leaving Afghanistan wanting to unleash the beast, a year full of built up energy that I can't wait to use to explore life next.
 My last core class, it was awesome.
Gen Otey and I competing with our M9.

Friday, April 12, 2013

11 Months ago today....I landed in Manas, scared, young, and naïve.
 I can't believe I have less then a month to go in Kabul.  The first couple months I was in shock that I would have to live here for a year.  After 11 months, I have grown as a person and am so thankful I have had this experience.  Today we joined together to workout together for a fallen hero that worked here at the Embassy, Anne.  She was an amazing person and only 25 when she lost her life.  I am so appreciative of how many wonderful people I have known since I have been here.  This last month is all about absorbing what I have learned over the year, appreciate the little things that really have made me the person I am today, and be with amazing friends that I have made while being here.

I am teaching stretch back in the Courtyard as the weather warms in Afghanistan.
 St Patty's with friends.
 Jazz Night in Kabul.
 New ISAF Commander, Gen Dunford.  I am finally the one that has been here the longest, with all new faces.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Count Down bigins - 10 weeks left in Afghanistan
RandR was amazing in New Zealand.  We thought we would take advantage of the military sending us somewhere we have never been.  We only get 15 days of vacation a year while deployed but travel days do not count.  With five days on each end of travel, I extended my vacation as much as possible.  When I landed Kevin was only waiting a day so it worked out well and we drove around
 almost the entire South Island. 
The beaches were nice, after being in Afghanistan I could hear every bird, smell every flower.  It was so nice.  But the water is cold.  Hawaii has spoiled us.
The lakes were crystal blue.

 We did alot of hiking around, I felt so free.  There are were no dangerous animals or taliban to harm us:)

 This was our favorite picnic spot along the Routeburn trail that we hiked for three days.  It looked like china mans hat in Hawaii.  We hiked in four bottles of wine and cheese and crackers, my fav.
 There were sheep everywhere.  Actually way more sheep then there are people.
 We made a joke that waterfalls in NZ are like rainbows in Hawaii, everywhere you look.
This was along the Routeburn trail.  Even though it was rainy on days, we enjoyed it.  This pic reminds me of a weather job I want after retirement.  I hike around in bad weather and give weather reports.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

7 1/2 months - Poland visit with 24 Afghans
Finally after 7 months, Kevin flew out to see me in Poland.  It was amazing to see each other.  Less then 3-weeks we meet up again in New Zealand for hiking and lots of fun.  When I return to Afghanistan I will only have 3-months until I return to the states.

 Dude on a wire in Bydgoszcz, Poland
 In a mansion in Poland with 24 Afghans that I was escorting to Military Training.

 Baltic Sea in Gdansk Northern part of Poland

 Down town Gdansk

 Statue behind our hotel in Bydgoszcz, right by our favorite restaurant.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

1/2 Way Baby!
We got to hike to the top of my first mountain in Afghanistan.

                                And shoot our M9's, M4's and 50 Cal's
     Looking from the top of the mountain we climbed
 Hiking makes me happy, I am have not been this happy since I have been in Afghanistan.

 The Kabul Circus came to the Embassy.  Not what I expected, but a good show.
 My girl Gena that I went through CAST training with left Afghanistan after six months.
 A Night out in Kabul, Thai food and good music with my friends.
 My awesome Nato Spin class over at ISAF, Italians and Germans happy to work hard
 Military L/EMB Charlie's Angels.  I work with the coolest group of people.
Italian Pizza at the ISAF NSE - All the Italians from my spin class fed me lots of pizza.
 Gunny and I flying high on a black hawk.

 View over Kabul.
Kabul is way bigger then I thought.
 Driving through the streets of Kabul.

 Michelle and I pre-Marine Birthday nonball.  This was a fun night with friends.
Next week we play the women's Afghanistan National soccer team.  I have only been to two practices and they want to put me as goalie.  Bad Idea...we might lose big time:)
Next month will probably go by fast with a TDY to Poland to escort 23 Afghans.  I am so excited, my first time away from Afghanistan.  By the time I return I will be over 7 months and will be off to New Zealand shortly afterward.  These last months hopefully will fly by.  Miss you all, Happy Holidays!