It all started Sunday night; acutally Monday morning at 12.45 am. I woke to some loud people outside my tent. They were speaking in the normal army language where every 3rd or 4th word has to be four letters or else no one would understand what you are talking about. All this time it was raining quite heavily and that is when I heard it.
Those people walked right past where I was sleeping and they were sloshing through water. About 30 minutes later several phones started to ring and we were told to put everything that we had on the floor up high because the tent could flood due to the rain.
I went and looked outside and the water was about an inch from coming into our tent. After about 1-2 hrs I was asleep again. In the morning I was told not to go to the Aid Station (where my clinic is) because the water was still too high to be able to walk down there. I went to breakfast and it was a bit of a maze to try and stay on some ground so that the rain would not enter my boots, which are at least a foot high.
On the way I saw a car in the culvert and heard stories of many more with the same fate. People were saying that the sewage ponds just about a half mile from us had overflowed so the water that we were standing in was probably contaminated. It smelled like it too. I returned to bed until 1200 pm because the water was too high to walk anywhere without getting really muddy and wet. They brought some pump trucks and removed a lot of the water, I think, because when I looked out again most of it was dried up and that does not happen around here.
The tents below us were full of mud after the storm and people started to bring their gear out and try to clean it. There was muddy gear everywhere. They also began moving people into these big buildings that have 4 bays per floor. Each bay is able to hold 58 bunks for a total of 116 people. Not everyone had a bunk-mate so it ends up being close to 80 people per room. The funny thing about these buildings is that they flooded also. The sewer lines in them backed up and so they shut down the restroom facilities in them for a while.
For the next two days we were told that we would be moving. I mean not moving. Moving. Okay, not moving. Moving. Wait - nope, you're moving. Yes, you are definitely moving today. We are not going to have to move. Scratch that - you need to be out by this afternoon. Sure do love the army.
We finally ended up moving Thursday afternoon. The building is acutally pretty nice if it is kept up. I believe that the soldiers will be in charge of the up-keep and that may turn into a sanitary hazard. The bathrooms still smell like sewage, but they are all porcelain tile with flushing toilets and good lighting. Almost makes you feel a bit at home, as long as you plug your nose and don't look at the sink and floor that has just been used by 160 people at least, most of which do not care to clean up after themselves.
The outside noise is blocked out very well because these buildings are designed to withstand rocket attacks. There is more noise inside with the number of media devices and confinement of more people to one space. So there is plenty more of the not so friendly four letter words. I have been told that this will be our final destination for the remainder of the deployment. I will believe it when I see it. I have moved 3 out of the 4 months that I have been here and everyone that has been here longer has moved at least one move per month except the month of January.
In the midst of this chaos, I receive an email from COL Manga (director of advanced residency selection at Fort Sam Houston TX) on Monday saying, "Can you give me a call at this number? It is important." It is a reply to a message that I sent to him making sure that he new if there were openings this year that I would be willing to start.
Of course I am thinking, "Oh great! Some good news!" So I call and keep calling and do not get in touch with anyone. Then I find out that his wife is having surgery so he will not be into the office for a while. I get this email and then I am left in suspense for two days before I get a response saying, "Had a possible position to start this summer, but the Officer decided to begin the program. Are you deployed right now? If you are you would not be able to start anyway."
I responded to his email that I had already spoken to my command and they said that they would be willing to work with me. His response was that the position was filled and if another one opened that he would let me know. As of now I am scheduled to begin my training at Fort Lewis in July of 2011. Yeah. I am excited about beginning, however, I still feel like I will start this year. It may be that I get the call at the very last minute, but if that is what it takes that that is what we are preparing for.
Fortunately, I have the absolute best wife ever who is the most supportive and wonderful person in the world. She is of the same mind-set that we will begin this year. So we will see how it all goes.
So that is my week so far.
Pretty exciting being part of the Afghan soap opera.