Welcome to 2017…

I know it has been a while since my last update, but there has not been much to report on. Christmas came and went. For those of you who sent care packages, thank you so much. I spent most of Christmas with a Santa tie and elf hat on. Definitely a good pick from the friend who sent that package.

The highlight of Christmas was being able to FaceTime my family as they opened gifts, including the ones I had shipped to their house. Sure the call was dropped about five times, but it was still a fun time. Unfortunately, I had to open my present early, but they were ok with that. Christmas meals were a very festive time. Lunch was local food, paid for by higher leadership. Afghans get two things right when it comes to food: rice and beef. The bread tastes amazing, if you can finish chewing it. It is a very hearty meal, however. Dinner was a different story. We ate at the local dining facility, where they had the place decorated to the rafters, and a live band playing. The food was good, but the biggest bummer was the music. Sitting through “Baby Got Back” as a Christmas rap was terrible, and I’m pretty sure I lost brain cells because of it. Needless to say, it was still a good time.

The days are spent working out, preparing classes to teach to my peers, and lots of coffee. A normal day will see me go through at least 2 cups in the morning, and another two cups after dinner. Thank God I bought way too many coffee filters. (If any of you guys need a care package idea, I’m always down to try new types of coffee.)

New Year’s Eve was a relaxing day. We completed our tasks and then started to relax for the evening. I decided to stay up late and welcome in the new year. I was about to go to bed, when Ahmed decided to welcome us to 2017 as well…with fireworks. Not the pretty kind either. So back to the bunkers we go, not even one hour into the new year. I sang Auld Lang Syne quietly to myself, chuckling about the irony of the situation. Needless to say I went straight to bed when the all clear was given.

The winter has also brought rain to our part of Afghanistan. However, the mountains that surround us are getting loads of snow dumped on them, and the view is breathtaking. The wind is still biting cold, but the views of the mountains it gives make it almost tolerable. The sunsets are stunning, if you are brave enough to face the cold and watch.

Well. Got some things on the horizon, so if you don’t hear from me, just know I’m probably doing nothing important and don’t have wifi. (Or it sucks. Not all that uncommon here.) The last thing i’m going to tuck into the end of this here is a new promotion. I’m excited I was chosen to be promoted early, but my career here is not defined by my rank. So for those of you wondering, I am now a specialist. Basically, I now have more responsibilities. Yay.

May the Father of all watch over you

Brandon

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