Lock the commodes!


Well, as I waited for my laundry to finish up this morning, I noticed the Army first sergeant locking down the bathrooms. Our bathrooms are basically modified containers (like big shipping containers) converted into commodes. Well, apparently someone can’t clean up after themselves and the resulting backlash is the locking of every single container bathroom on our base. There are six total — now, they are all locked down.

What’s left you ask? Well, there’s a smattering (no pun intended) of port-a-potties dotted throughout the base. I’m thinking, maybe 6-8 of them. Mind you, they aren’t cleaned often and they are even dirtier than our container commodes. Lovely. Hopefully the message will come across loud and clear, but until then, we are stuck doing our business in less than ideal conditions. Let’s just say 100 plus degree temperatures tends to marinate anything left out in the sun. As if we didn’t have it bad enough already…

Oh, the good ‘ol Army. If this was an Air Force base, we’d have a contractor that would clean the toilets every two hours, alleviating the 650 plus Soldiers and civilians from having to scout an unused John.

Anyway, enough bathroom chatter.

Last night I had the opportunity to help one of the civilians here teach English to nine Afghan interpreters. They can speak, read and write English, but they have difficulty with their pronunciation and with some of the more difficult words in the English language.

In respect to their culture, when we entered the tent, we took off our shoes and then sat cross-legged in a circle. For a little more than an hour, three of us split into groups and read through an educational book on Kabul. We broke it down into paragraphs and after each paragraph we would let them re-read it and ask questions on any words they didn’t
understand.

They are so eager to learn. We are going to be teaching the class twice a week, but if they had it their way, we’d be there every night. These interpreters go out with the Soldiers on every mission to help with communication between the villagers. Helping the interpreters understand our language and the proper words to use can help them better translate
what the local people are trying to tell us. I’ll try and get some pictures during the next class to show you “our students.”

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3 Responses to “Lock the commodes!”

  1. Jeannie Says:

    I think it’s awesome that you’re helping them learn our language better. I’ve heard from a friend over there that unlike Iraq, the Afghani’s really do yearn to learn, so it’s wonderful that some of you are taking the opportunity to help them. Good luck.

  2. Angela, Bryan, and Daniel Says:

    Should I send you some supplies so you can clean the toilets yourself? đŸ˜‰ LOL!

    That is so cool you are helping them learn English better! Awesome!

  3. Lynne Andrews Says:

    Lack of communication is usually at the root of most conflicts, and is a complete block to any resolution, so good for you for breaking down those walls. Cheers!

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