Afghanistan-A-Go-Go

A Reservist's Tale Of A Tour

Please, Don’t Fret About Coffee

with 3 comments

I know many of you have been worried about the coffee situation here.

It’s okay. We’re going to be okay. A massive stepdown transformer magically appeared which is powering the Keurig we “found”, and the wonderful folks at Keurig are replacing my machine anyhow, which is awesome. My colleagues are now scrambling to order their own K-Cups as I’m not planning on supporting them forever. We’ll survive okay.

In addition to that triumph, I’m also incredibly happy with the memory foam/gel mattress cover thing I picked up at Costco for my UAB. It took a bit of a struggle to get the thing on to my top bunk, but I think it’s probably just about the best $100 I have ever spent. Good sleep is key to everything, after all.

Beyond that, life is moving along just fine. We’re figuring out how the transition process for the school I’m working at, which will determine how long we are actually here. There’s a bit of a luxury in not having an end date, because I’m not “counting down the days” until the end. Officially, our redeployment plan starts in October, but we’ll have more clarity when the overall plan for the school I’m working at emerges. I’m hoping we don’t get cut too short.

I’ve got a Word document that I’m slowly building an itinerary for leave for – it is a good way to take a break from work to start doing research on the various destinations. I’ve got another month or so before I can officially book everything, but I’m mainly trying to figure out what to do in each of the cities we are visiting. Berlin has some amazing walking tours (and a zoo) that we’re planning on. Budapest has a very highly recommended guide that I think we’ll hire for a day tour, and Prague – well, Prague I haven’t really gotten to researching yet. But I know the major sites to start working with. I also am trying to pin down a budget for the trip, because while I want to enjoy it, I don’t want to blow everything. I’m so far pretty happy with the fact that my HLTA allowance should cover all the major travel expenses (flights and rail passes), and I’ve found pretty good accommodations for fairly cheap rates, without staying in pits.

The only real variable is my wife’s vacation time. She booked off the time I was going to be off originally, but plans changed and now she’s having some issues with getting the time off. Hopefully it’ll resolve itself in time.

April looks to be a busy month, with several training events happening, and some travel for me lined up. We’re experiencing some of the challenges of transition already, getting movements of instructors approved, getting lesson plans and resources sorted out, and so on. There’s even challenges with getting our own movements sorted out – everyone has to be accounted for, and with small groups traveling everything needs coordination, but in the end it’s all coming together, and we’re getting things taken care of. It should be a good chance to see a little more of the country, and to meet more of my peers, interesting things indeed. It means my roommate will get the room to himself for a while (which is probably good for him, I snore like a bastard), as well.

I’m also starting slowly to think about post-tour things – like work and longer term career plans, most specifically more education. I don’t know how it will all fit together, but I’d really like to return to school, even if only part time, because I think having only an undergraduate degree isn’t enough for me – I’ve got so many different ideas about what I want to do next that none of them have completely gelled though, and that’s making things complicated in a way. I know that I while I’m likely going to stay in the same field, but I don’t think I want to return to the same job, necessarily. I have something of a luxury in working for a very large firm with almost limitless possibilities though, so as my goals and ideas become clearer, I’ll start engaging them about where to go next. I’ve got some ideas, already, but they’re just not quite clear.

Written by Nick

March 29, 2012 at 2:41 am

3 Responses

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  1. As someone who has known you for a (very) long time, I have to say that I always did see you returning to further your education. I think it would be a very wise move for you; be it an MBA, or otherwise; so I applaud that decision and I hope that it comes to fruition. Your BA had done you pretty well to this point, and you certainly worked very hard to get it. Success, for you, is something that at this point, with your experience, drive, and continuously more impressive resume, will happen. But hey – just don’t forget about the little people!

    So, aside from the obvious missing the Mrs, anything you’re struggling with out there? You’ve always been pretty social, yet independant and intrepid, so I would think that really only boredom would be an issue, but it seems that morale is well-handled there…. and knowing you, you’ll always find something to busy yourself with. Also, how are the workouts going? I’m half-expecting you to be built like a tank when you return.

    Hope all is well, you’re thought of a lot at home. Stay safe and keep writing – very much look forward to reading your posts.

    Scott Robinson

    March 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

    • Scott, I’ll be honest – boredom is the most serious threat here in a lot of ways. Things are painfully slow to happen. However, there’s a lot of things that keep it at bay, social events as it were, and even brutal circuit training workouts (which I have yet to actually survive a full week of…) are a good chance just to hang out with a regular group of people. As for being built like a tank, well, maybe that will happen, but the way some circuits sideline me for a couple of days at a time, I’m not so sure…

      Nick

      March 29, 2012 at 9:38 am

      • Neither Rome or Afghanistan (or even Canada) were built in a day.

        So Work, Workout and Sleep

        Nick the Tank! (I like it)

        Ross

        March 31, 2012 at 7:56 am


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