I apologize for the suspense as I missed last week's post by an entire week and I am proving to neglect one of the fundamental ingredients for a blog that I mentioned in my first post. However, nobody has complained so I will continue to blog.
First an update: I don't live with the crabby civillians anymore, now I live with a crabby Aviaton captain. All of us who know Aviation captains know that they're crabby, especially my brother knows. Haha, just kidding I hope she won't kill me she's one of the nicest people in the world! Anyway, he's not a bad roommate and we have a lot of space with just the two of us and he doesn't mind my bike staying inside the CHU (hehe sorry inside joke).
Next updates: I called my mom yesterday and it was great. She's a wonderful person full of motherly wisdom and care. Family really is a special unit, even more special than special forces.
The supply guy brought Gatorade Nutrition shakes in vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.
Mail is down until further notice so if you sent me something I don't know when I'll get it and if I sent you something it might take longer.
I'm listening to Alison Krauss. I normally don't but right now her music is so soothing I just have to keep listening.
I got blamed for blowing up the coffee maker, then I proved that I didn't, but then I got blamed for blowing up the new one and blowing a fuse. I've given up preparing coffee for those ungrateful SOBs.
I got my two new interpreters last week and they are great fun to hang out with. They're both grumpy old guys. One of them is like 70+ yrs old or something but he's always talking about getting out there where the action is and how he would push his special forces team guys because they were too weak to keep up with him. He has so many cool war stories and he speaks so many languages I've been losing sleep just to listen to him.
That's all the updates I have for now.
(Photo of Younes Mahmoud Iraqi soccer team captain after winning Asia cup in 2007 not taken by me)
Iraqi soccer is my latest and greatest interest. Though never having played it, I've always been a big fan of soccer. After my European study saga in 2007 and getting to experience some great teams play, their passionate fans' fanatic antics, and being immersed in the Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona rivalry in Spain, I learned how incredibly divisive or unifying a football team can be. No matter your religion, race, class, gender, or age, you all unite in the little Cerveceria (local pub) to support your team. On the other hand, woe be he who walks into the Cerveceria wearing the enemy's jersey. That's what's so great about National teams. Though living in one of the most torn countries on the planet right now, optimistic Americans believe Iraqis have a lot to celebrate: Successful elections, US withdrawal from major cities, greater trust and reliance on Iraq's own security forces. Despite any legislative, political, military or even social justice gains that may or may not have occurred within the country, I think this was by far the single most glorious day in Iraq since the US arrived and has done more to unify the country than all of our combined military and economic efforts: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/world/middleeast/30iraq.html.
The second single most glorious day was just a month ago on 10 July when the Iraqi team was allowed to play at home: http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/developing/news/newsid=1088925.html#erbil+enjoys+homecoming
I'm proud of our efforts to bring stability and security to Iraq. I track our successes and setbacks every day and I sincerely believe that we are making a positive difference. However nothing gets me more excited about Iraq than hearing updates about the Iraqi soccer team.
On a much more depressing note, the guy at the clothing shop in our little Iraqi Bazaar is all out of Iraqi national soccer jerseys and he doesn't know when he'll get any more. I'm going to keep asking him every time I see him.
Thanks for reading, I hope you're well.