It’s good to have a schedule. Schedules make time go by faster. If everyday brings another thing to look forward to then everyday is another step towards the day I eventually make my way home.
In order to shine a little light on my life over here, I figured I would share a little bit of my schedule, so you can see what my week is like. There isn’t much that varies one week from another; they all just kinda blend in. So I find variety in the days. Something to look forward to in a world with no weekends. Oh, and on a typical day, I work 12 hours, morning to night. Sometimes more, depending on the work at hand. But rarely, if ever, less.
This has been my schedule since November, when I landed at my new base.
Monday is laundry day. For three hours on Monday morning I go back and forth to the morale office/laundromat and wash my clothes. Sometimes I’ll bring a book and read while I wait for a washer to open. While things are flipping and bouncing in one of the community washers I might go to the shop for hygienicals or other items. Then when my items finally get into the dryer, I head back to work for an hour or so. Then I pick up my stuff, drop it off in my room, and go back to work.
An interesting story from Laundry Day:
We have an option to drop off some laundry with a drop-off service. A few weeks ago, I dropped off a bag to a few of the locals who work at the drop-off place. While there, I heard a local radio station. I asked them if they spoke the local Dari dialect, as I learned some while in Kabul. They said “yes”. A few weeks later, I said few words to the guy behind the desk. He smiled. Another person behind the desk said, “did you understand him?” to his co-worker. The dari-speaking worker said “Of course, he spoke Afghani and I am an Afghan.” Then he smiled at me again.
Tuesday is gym day. I’ve been trying to go two days a week again. I tried three times a week for a bit, but then stopped for over a month. So I am back to twice a week. Not sure if that will make me stronger, leaner, meaner, or buff, but it gives me something to do. And I want to run the Tampa Gasparilla 5 or 10K sometime when I get back.
Wednesday is my half-day. Back at my old base, 1/2 days were Friday, but here I had a choice and I picked Wednesday. Several reasons went into this pick. One, Friday was already taken and we needed someone in the office. Two, I can work out long on Tuesday and recover Wednesday. Three, it’s the middle of the week and I only have one 1/2 day.
For those keeping track at home, a half-day means I only work six hours instead of 12.
Interesting fact about half-day Wednesday: Both Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on Tuesdays this year. My boss gave us free days those days, meaning we could sleep in and do whatever we needed to do (talk to family or whatever). So for two weeks in a row, I almost had a normal weekend.
Thursday is gym day 2. Not much to say about day 2. It’s the day after day 1. There are no interesting facts about Thursday, either. Sorry.
Friday is Hawaiian shirt day. Hawaiian shirt day might be a played out cliche in the states, but in Afghanistan, only a handful of us do it. So it’s like a tribe thing. I’ve even gotten a few compliments on my “tropical camouflage”.
As it is back in the states, Saturday is Florida State University shirt day – even when not football season. I gotta represent. On each base I have been to, I’ve run into a few FSU fans who compliment my Saturday attire. Being that I’m surrounded by people who like talking about my Army time and my time working in Tampa, to find a Seminole fan is a real treat.
Sunday is Sneaker Sunday. Because I wear low hiking boots most of my days here, I like to let them air out on Sunday by wearing my running shoes all day. I’ll throw baby powder in my boots Saturday night and not put them on again until Monday morning. It’s a nice change of pace.
Sunday is normally also Skype Sunday, the day I try to leave the office a bit early and talk to my folks for a little while. Or if the roommate is asleep (how can people actually go to sleep before midnight?), I type while my family talks. The style of communication takes some getting used to, but it’s better than nothing.
Well, that’s my week out here. Being that it’s Monday, today is laundry day. Gotta go, I have socks to check on!