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May 27, 2005

Deadly blast at Pakistan shrine 

At least 14 people have been killed in an apparent suicide bomb at a Shia Muslim shrine in Pakistan, police say.
BBC

Katy do you remember the procession we saw that night on the street in front of your family's house? Those people where on the way to this shrine. People come from all over the country to celebrate at this shrine. I saw tons of busses and people walking to it a couple days ago. The thing is there was a shoot out at the shrine a couple months ago, I think it was a land dispute or something. Both Shia and Soonie use this shrine and both where there worshiping when the bomb went off... this will be an interesting investigation if it was a suicide bomber and if we ever hear the truth about it.

May 26, 2005

Thursday, May 26, 2005 707 PM Paris time

So my posts are out of order today… oh well. I am now in a room in Paris. I convinced them to rent me a room based on an e-mail from my bank that says nothing and a hotel bill from four days ago. Just took a shower!!! Very exciting stuff. I consumed three of those little bottles of red wine on the plane on the way here from Dubai as I was sitting next to a woman holding a very big crying baby. So needles to say I didn’t sleep much.

When I arrived back from Afghanistan my ticket back to the states was not ready. I was scheduled to leave only six hours later. My travel agent work hard and unscrewed the situation so I made the flight. I stayed with a local family last night…. Although I didn’t sleep. I laid down for about 45 mins. I had to be at the airport by 130AM and we didn’t even start eating dinner till 1030pm.

French TV sucks by the way. Oh I forgot to mention…. All those 0900 number commercials in Europe (Americans read 1-900 numbers) are broadcast via satellite to Afghanistan! I am not talking about the American version of the 1-900 numbers where the girls have cloths on and talk sexy. I am talking about full on EUROPEAN completely nude touching yourself porn. I could not believe my eyes! Sitting in the same country that the Taliban ruled only a short while ago watching this crap! Amazing irony.

One observation about Kabul is that there are a TON of girls in school! I mean A TON. They where everywhere. Age 9 to 16 in school uniforms. The weird thing is almost every other Afghan woman there is in a burka covered head to toe.

I got the New Star wars on DVD. Master print! I also got the new hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 1109PM
Squatty Potty Blues

Today as I was at the head quarters of what may possibly be my new office, I had to go #2. The thing is I was wearing jeans and all they have is a squatty potty. This is normally not a big deal, however today I had a small note book in my back pocket that contained my credit cards and some other important stuff. It of course fell out of my pocket and directly into the hole in the ground. Luckily the book did not fall completely in the whole. Unfortunately my most needed card was half way submerged. A brief moment past as I enjoyed the irony of having to retrieve the card that allows me to get in more debt from a crap filled whole in Afghanistan. I decided I had a lot of commitment to my spending power. I think it would make a great commercial. “MasterCard it’s so powerful you’ll pull it out of your own facieses” or something to that effect.

ANY WHO HA

So there is a very large kidnapping threat here now, and a suicide bomber threat. It has gotten worse since I was here last, but there the same threats. A lady is still in captivity here, she was kidnapped last week. Rumors are they killed her, but some are denying it tonight so who knows. As far as the new potential job goes, they are set on having me here, but they are hesitating to allow me to take the position I want as it is in a part of the country that is rather turbulent at this time (our office was attacked and burned down last week) and they think my nationality may be an issue there. I basically told them I am only interested in the job if I get to be there. They have offered a couple other places in the country but I am not so interested in that. So I am out of town tomorrow and will be on my way back to the west in no time…. But who knows for how long.

I am ready to be around some family and some of my stuff. I was chatting with a friend today online and realized that I have become some sort of sensitive guy. Not emotional, just sensitive. The x-pats here in my office swear like sailors, now I know what sailors sound like and I have heard my self talk like that many times before…. But for some reason this time, it affected me. I was quite turned off by it and wondered why anyone would listen to the advice of a supposedly professional I the information came out combined with that kind of talk. Many NGO’s here are no better than the big faceless abusive government organizations. I am very concerned with the amount of money that is spent here by NGO’s and the UN because it is not at all in proportion to the good or the positive that has been done here. For the amount of money that has been spent here in this city alone, you can’t even see improvements that would make you think 1/5 of the total that has been spent was spent.

The only organizations that are making a lasting difference are those who have a belief in something. Whether it’s a genuine belief in human rights (VERY RARE), or a religious belief, the vast majority of the NGO/UN/AID organizations have little perspective or respect regarding the people, culture, customs, and long term ramifications of there actions here. The longer I live, the more I realize that humans in general are completely out for themselves, their are very few people who can be trusted with the task of honestly managing and being responsible with and for other peoples lives. It’s a self propelling cycle of hurt, abuse and mistrust coupled with the words of good will and some good intentions once in a while.

But for all the negative I can see here, I can also see some amazing people and projects who are changing the world for good. And when it comes down to it, this place is no where near as bad as most of the things going on in Africa!

I need to get back to the place I just left. Its where my heart and interest lay. I need to get my projects funded and get out there and use the influence I have been given to change the world for good. It’s a tough path, but if I can make it happen I know it will be a billion times better than anything I could do here with this group. SO… all you who want to change the world for good, e-mail me and send money.

Oh and I still need a Scribe.
Dirt Poor in Paris

So I left all my credit and ATM cards in my last country……. I am so screwed! I am now sitting at the hotel in Paris waiting for my bank to fax something so they will give me a room. I AM TIRED.

My trip west went well and I was able to meet up with a ton of awesome people (not the job I was actually there for) from the past. I also ran into Dr. & Mrs. Chesterton in the airport! Was awesome!! We talked for like 45 mins at high speeds to try and catch up on the past 14 years or so. All in all it was a great trip. As far as the job is concerned that is still up in the air. They have given it to me but I am hesitating because they are trying to get me to work in a different city than the one I am taking the job for…. That will not work out. So we will see what happens.

I need to find some support and investors because the projects are all wound up ready to be released… now we just need the funds. This is the time to get started, the contacts are made the network is here, I am plugged in. Its time, so find me some rich people who like to influence entire countries and cultures.

May 20, 2005

My last night here in the Himalayas for a little while. Got sick as a dog again last night but am ok now, just a splitting head ache! Rushed to get everything done tonight… not fun. I am sure I could have finished better if I was feeling better, but oh well.

This trip was very nice (minus the sickness) I am going to miss everyone a lot. Really great people here. I actually meet a new human here that I enjoy hanging out with. Normally my life is just to full to let anyone in, but it’s been nice to get to spend time with a couple new humans and actually enjoy them. I guess that sounds weird.

Any who ha. I am heading to the wild wild west (of here) for a couple days and then to Europe over night and on to the great state of Condo 18. Can’t wait to eat Tim’s BBQ and throw a couple back with the homies. This has been a long trip… I think I am getting old.
"In our culture, no parent would like to see their daughter running on the roads along with the boys and that, too, in shorts.
It is all being done by an elite group that wants to emulate the West and we have to stop this."
BBC

May 15, 2005

Friday, May 13, 2005 1628

It’s quiet here now. The majority of the kids are gone on weekend excursions, hopefully none of the planned protest will erupt into violence and they will all have a good weekend.

The internet is down again. It’s been thundering like crazy and a little rain. Tomorrow is another range day, would be fun in the rain.. for me at least, these poor guys wear the same uniform everyday, so it probably wouldn’t be for them.

I am out to dinner tonight with some local friends and then back to catch up on episodes of 24 me and a couple of the kids (who stay here when the rest are gone) started on the last break.

Lots to do and not much time to so it, story of my life. The other day a Korean friend of mine asked if I had a “girl friend” which means why aren’t you married….. My answer was “I can’t find anyone who can keep up with me” paused and then said “well maybe it’s no one WANT’s to keep up with me”.

I don’t think I would want to keep up with me if I had the choice, so no harm done 

Life is all timing and opportunity. You either seize the moments or you don’t. It’s that easy. You live you die.

I am sure this all changes when you are in a normal romantic marriage type relationship or have children, but I am not and don’t so that is how it is now, and frankly I like it.

Relationships are really the only value in life, so I am not sure why I feel like this, maybe it’s that I don’t like the stereotypical relationships… or something.. Who knows?

Anyway, whatever it is, I am living it for now.

I wish I had a scribe. Who will be my faithful scribe? Maybe that is the relationship I need?

WANTED ONE SCRIBE
(Inquire within)

May 13, 2005


America tastes like cigarets... the poster in my "hotel room" in J-bad Posted by Hello

Cow, dont leave home with out it Posted by Hello

Torkam boarder Bubba's Posted by Hello

Smoke it up at church Posted by Hello

Disco at the PC Hotel Posted by Hello

Religious diversity in the pirated movie shop Posted by Hello

May 11, 2005

What region am I going to be running again? 

At least four people have died and many were hurt after police fired shots to disperse anti-US protests in the Afghan city of Jalalabad, officials say.

Hundreds rioted over reports that interrogators at America's Guantanamo Bay prison had flushed at least one copy of the Koran down a toilet.

The city is now said to be calm after widespread damage to property. All but essential UN staff are being withdrawn.

US authorities have said they are investigating the Koran allegations.
BBC

Demonstrations are schedualed here for Friday.... will see what happens. Why the hell to people 1. do this crap (Korans in toilets) 2. Why do people talk about it in the press?

Toba toba

May 09, 2005

The importance of good translation while taking prescription drugs 

Sunday, May 08, 2005 10:07pm

Sick as a dog, I head up to the nurse’s apartment to admit defeat. I am sick. She of course takes pity on me, as medical professionals should and gives me the meds to get better.

She said, the normal prescription one thrice daily, however men should take five. And then went on to tell me how a particular doctor I know and respect always takes five…. So in my complete sickness and delusional state I TAKE FIVE PILLS AT THE SAME TIME. The next day I realize she meant five a day.

About 45 minuets after I took five horse pills plus this one other pill, I realized I was going to spew. I hoped out of bed and spewed my guts out into the bath tub (biggest target available). I spewed potato with the skin still on it, chunks of who knows what and of course blood. The small amounts of blood where nothing but a mere indication that my body is smarter than my head and decided to get rid of as much of the drugs in my system as possible.

So anyway, I tried to wash my spew down the drain but the chunks where just too big. So last night before I put a movie on for the kids I told my sad story of diarrhea and barf an offered anyone who would come clean out my bathtub for me a reward of 100 rupees ($1.50). So three days after the projectile chunky vomit I had one of the junior high guys come to clean it out of my bathtub. I of course got some great video of it!

Two days ago I talked one of the other junior high boys into testing out my pepper spray pen. I sprayed the crap out of him! I also got that on tape. Fun Fun Fun.

I need a hair cut and a beard trim like crazy. I look pretty ragged.

The internet has been down all weekend and the main IT guy is out for two weeks. I sat on my Afghan cell phone and broke the screen… It will cost me about $6 to get replaced here, as apposed to the 70 EURO’s I paid in Germany when my display froze and cracked.

11:21PM

Laying in bed listening to the Bizkit, wondering how many spiders crawl on me at night and feeling like they are all over me now. I actually do this a lot.

The end of my time here is sneaking up on me; I have a lot to do and don’t have any more time to be sick. I have decided I need to buy the following before I leave on my next job cause mine are getting old:

Digital video camera
Digital still and 1gig memory card
Laptop
PDA (small)
Portable DVD player & recorder
Covert wireless video cameras
GPS with maps of this part of the world
1 gig jump drive

Now all I need to do is find someone to pay for it all….. Which brings me to my next point; where are all the hot rich chicks that want me? Seriously I am surrounded by poor hot chicks that want me and it’s just not going to work. Ha ha

I am also going to need a ton and a half of new music on my MP3 player/laptop as I am bored of the 3000 songs I currently have.

I need to go back and find my post about how my computer was the best relationship I ever had. I think it would be good for the kids to read.

I introduced some of the children to the video of Metallica playing with the San Francisco symphony. Was pretty hard core. They didn’t get it at first, and thought Metallica was “old” but they eventually saw the light. I am sure their house parents are appreciative…not

May 07, 2005

Still sick as a dog, throwing up out both ends... no fun and very stinky. My bathtub is full of dry barf from last night. You don't realize how much water is in your body till you start leaking it all.

So I am miserable. I am supposed to be with the kid's rock climbing now and then to the capitol tonight to spend time with my local family. They are going to be very upset and disappointed if I don’t go. But it's not looking good. If you haven’t been so sick that you actually crap your bed while you sleep, you don’t know what sick is.

I have only ever been this fragile (in that I can’t stray to far from a bathroom) one other time. I was in 5th grade and I was actually in the same location I am now… weird.

Other than that I am just laying in my own stench thinking about life and wondering when I will de-hydrate completely. :) I do feel like I lost weight though!! But I am afraid it’s all water weight. Bummer.

May 05, 2005

Thursday, May 05, 2005 1202AM

Tonight I took two groups of kids out for a birthday celebration. The first was to dinner a mixed group of Junior High girls and boys. I barley got them back for study hall, which is apparently a requirement….. The second group was just the boys. We drove down to a hotel close by and went bowling. We had a good time making as many ball jokes as we could (Jr High, I fit right in). We threw the birthday boy in the pool on the way back to the van, he almost drowned because it was so cold and his cloths instantly absorbed tons of water!! I got some good pictures! So we marched him through the lobby of the five star hotel leaving puddles of water with every step. I then allowed them to ride on top of the van all the way back… this is a big tradition from my day that is currently outlawed. They about froze to death, especially the birthday boy, but we made it back in one piece. It’s a memory none of these boys will soon forget and I was lucky enough to be here for it. Its time like these when I actually like my life!


Wednesday, May 04, 2005 11:45PM

As a foreigner doing business in southwest Asia it is very important to have a trusted local partner/manager that can hear your intention and carry them out in the context of his culture. I am lucky; I have this man on my side here. He is trustable, dependable, and will get the best price possible every time. This is a rare and powerful dynamic. That is why I feel the responsibility to bring as many resources I possibly I can to this place, because I, unlike many have the ability to actually make a huge difference with them thanks to this partner.

That is my biggest concern when considering my most recent job offer. You see their are many locals in the country of the job offer, who have been spoiled by NGO’s and the UN or western countries that pay salaries and prices that are out of this world of services. Many think they are doing the country a favor by paying western prices, but I assure you it does nothing but harm to long term investors. A developing countries economy will never develop by hand outs.

If this type of behavior isn’t minimized, no investors or business people are going to bring their money to town. Because they would be paying the same prices for MASSIVELY inferior work. The population has to grow the economy. The economy will grow the people’s skill. It’s a balance.

I worry that I won’t be able to find that one guy who will eventually be proven trustworthy, the one who will get the best prices for the project regardless of my skin color or perceived budget. The guy who is loyal because he believes in something more than raping the westerners for whatever he can get because he know that they wont always be around. That one individual is the best security and the best recipe for success available to a foreign businessman in southwest Asia.

May 02, 2005

Postmodern Missions? Look at this

May 01, 2005

Three weeks ago one of my local friend’s wives was “sick”. They where very worried. They are Christians, very good people with a high moral standard. They have four kids. One day I asked him how she was, he said she was going to go to the hospital for “Surgery”. I attempted to clarify what for and found out that she thought she was pregnant and they where both VERY upset and worried. She especially was not happy and doesn’t like hospitals.

Two days later he looked very relieved and happy, he came up to me first thing in the morning and excitedly explained that she had been working hard around the house and lifting heavy things and was able to “finish” her sickness. “It has gone”

That day we where in town and he stopped at a telephone place and called her, he was so excited he put me on the phone to talk to her, she was very excited to over it and sounded very happy and well.

Basically she was going to have to go get an abortion at the hospital but was able to induce a miscarriage herself.. and that was much better.

I wouldn’t think that this event would have any effect on me, but it did. It made me think again about how our wealth in affluence in the west both makes us completely careless and at the same time anal retentive about specific subjects.

In this culture they had enough kids and couldn’t afford any more financially or emotionally so necessity was the order of the day. In the west it’s a moral issue. We call it ending a life and a “real” Christian would not do such a thing.

I think I prefer this culture as it is so much less presumptuous.

(April 15)
Another thought I had today was about fate. I had a run in with a young 20 something Pakistani guy this weekend who asked if I wanted to be on a famous TV show that needed a foreigner who wanted to become a Pakistani/Muslim. The whole thing started when I was told the Daewoo bus to my destination was full but they would put me on a waiting list. I asked what my chances of getting on the bus where and he said are you Muslim? I said no, but I can say “In sha Ala” he said “what do you believe about your fate? You should trust your fate..” I said I believe my fate is in a taxi. He laughed and asked me to be on the show. I thanked him for the offer but said I would rather be an unknown foreigner. We laughed and I took a taxi for 4 hours instead of a bus…. However the taxi broke down twice… so maybe I should have trusted my fate on the bus.

The whole encounter reminded me how much the idea of social justice and the rage that comes so quickly to me at the sight of injustice are both emotions that I can afford because of my affluence. Here people just accept what ever happens. If theirs a coup they except there fate, if there is a huge gruesome car wreck they morn and except there fate. They take very few logical steps to protect themselves because everything is fated anyway. I think evangelicals apply the same (illogical) logic to environmental issues. Fate is not faith people. Fate should not be an excuse to be lazy or ignorant.

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