My Doc Reports from Iraq have been a bit slow. Partly because I'm too tired when I get back to my CHU (containerized housing unit), partly because I have to mentally edit over and over what I want to write.
CHU. When I was here in 05' we called the hooches. You lived in a hooch. Well there was mumbling and grumbling about 'hooch' not being politically correct, so now we call them CHU's.
It's funny as the WiFi network is still known as "hooch-net".
A Day In The Life:
My supervisor went on vacation a scant six days after I arrived and two of those days I spent in Baghdad so basically I got four days to learn from him how everything worked. Along with that we have a big project that a team from Baghdad came down to do.
I wake up at 0700, although the little chirping birds tend to wake me up much earlier and sometimes something else wakes me up much earlier. More on this.
By 0730-0740 I'm cleaned up and dressed and drag myself to the DFAC (dining facility) which is not very far away. I get three boiled eggs, two pieces of pineapple, a big coffee and some low fat milk. Scarf down breakfast and head to my office.
0755 or so, unlock the office, login to my computer and start going through emails.
Run around and put out fires, attend meetings, work on projects, do operational stuff, attend more meetings.
Go to lunch.
Run around and put out fires, attend meetings, work on projects, do operational stuff and attend more meetings.
1800 Go to dinner.
Go back to the office and put out one more fire.
I am back at my CHU usually around 1900 or so.
If I don't feel totally like collapsing in my bed I'll go to the gym, again just around the corner.
I'll do some reading, maybe watch some television (Armed Forces Network + some Arabic channels with programming in English).
2200 or so hit the sack.
Now the fun part. We have loudspeakers throughout the compound in case of emergencies. I can rarely if ever make out what they are saying except when the incoming alarm goes off. The bad guys don't like to bother us during the day, they prefer the night and early morning. So when I'm sound asleep, HONK HONK HONK HONK INCOMING INCOMING INCOMING HONK HONK HONK HONK. This WILL wake you up. And then you wait. BOOM! Wait a few seconds, maybe a few minutes and repeat once, twice, maybe ten times. The good thing is we have a ring of Phalanx guns (200mm 1500 rounds per minute gatling gun) to shoot down the mortars or rockets. If you don't hear the guns it means the rockets are not in range. This still doesn't mean that it won't make you nervous. I'd say given between an unsettling feeling and totally terrified when you are waiting for the explosions I'd say it's that going to the top of the rollercoaster feeling, but not the being at the top looking down feeling.
Then I try to go back to sleep.
Fortunately this isn't a nightly occurrence. As funny as this may sound the fact that bad guys are not bothering us during the day and everyday is proof that we are making a difference. Baghdad 2005, fuggedaboutit. Rockets day and night.
I work six days a week, Saturday being my "day off". Ha ha. Today is Saturday, I have already put out one fire, responded to about ten emails and already have two more things to do after lunch that require my attention.