We are getting what I would call is antsy to get out of here. We have a date of departure from here to Kuwait of wednesday/thursday and then this weekends departure is probably sunday. We had that scary rocket attack and actually end up with no fatalities despite losing a large dorm structure. It was good that everybody was working that day that live there. We always learn something from these things. They learned that the water pump trucks that would feed the fire trucks don't have the right couplings. They will now. The weather is getting more humid so I am looking for a storm in the next few days. I am so ready to jump on that plane but it may pretty miserable b/c they don't believe in air conditioning. I hope it does rain b/c it cools it off 10-20 degrees.
My activity over this weekend has been learning how to set up Internet sites on the computer. It has been pretty cool but I grew up after the computer revolution time. I had one computer class in high school and the rest was just learning on the run. I did create a website for the AC Hoops non profit organization. I guess you can look it up but it really is a work in progress for me. It is also hard to maneuver b/c the Internet here doesn't click as fast as it does at home. It can be tedious at times. I hope that the rest of the coaches and teams will like it and maybe it can help them communicate with gym schedules for practices, parents, and with each other. It is www.achoops1.com. I have only entered in some of my stuff b/c it has been up only 2 days. Hope to get it moving over the year. I have been blessed with a great job and one of the best things that Michelle and I have done was to put a building in the back. In that building is a full size basketball court with 6 hoops in it. I wanted to create something to not only change my kids lives but to hopefully change other kids lives in the area. This end of town needed some extra room to practice basketball. I love it b/c it is a place to play ping pong, foosball, and watch TV also. Over the past 2 years, with the guidance of Chad Lebar, we have tried to learn how to train kids with the use of the NIike Sparq equipment. This system and training is for speed, explosion, and jumping. Our focus to start with was our kids and now it has expanded to anyone who is interested. It has been neat to see it grow and I am proud to have kids there. The only thing I want from it is the satisfaction that if the building made any kid faster, stronger, and happier. I want it to keep kids busy so they stay out of trouble. As we embark in its 3rd year beside the basketball and training we have expanded it, with the help of Kyle Huffaker, and made a batting cage inside of it. Now teams can practice baseball and softball. I was so bored and needed some to help with scheduling I even created a website for people who want to use it. It is www.bohlensgym.weebly.com. I want to remind any government official reading this that I do not make any money off of this. It is recreational and really is to help kids get better. It has been one of the best things I have done in my life.
Our excitement tonight is watching the final of world cup. It is pretty cool to watch how much people around the world love this sport. I am annoyed by the horns they are called vuvuseala's I think. If that is wrong I am sorry but I hope they ban them from the U.S.. Watch we will be using them at the Nebraska games this year.
This weekend's topic is about what Dean and I have been doing just about every weekend. We say we are going to town. The group has a vehicle and to keep from going insane we take it out every weekend. We have driven around the whole prison yard now. The vehicle didn't have air conditioning for the first half of our trip but working better now. It is a GMC Envoy. It is kind of beat up but does the job. Here is a picture of it.
We load up and go to town. The first month here we heard about a place on base called the oasis. This is a place at the very south end of the base that is about half the size of walmarts parking lot. This is a place where the local Iraqi's have shops that you can buy stuff from. What was really intriguing was they supposedly had camel rides there. It was our goal to get a camel ride. This is the picture of what it looks like driving up to it.
The area is surrounded by our lovely T-walls. This next picture is of the entry way into the oasis.
It is eery b/c you walk up to it like this and you don't know what your in for on the other side. It is almost like they are trying to hide it from you. This next picture is exactly what you see and was consistent with what it was when we went there on 4 separate occasions.
It was basically abandoned. They have this kind of shaded area in the picture to sit on. Like I said this place had no body in it and we went there 4 different times. The shops were lined around the side and I wanted to take a picture but I really was kind of scared. This whole place and we are basically in there with Iraqi's in there shops. These shops were a place to eat. Not going to do that. They probably would give me a parasite. They had pirated movies and shows for sale. I bought the office show. Then they had places for carpets and other crap. I mean it was crap. They have these smoking machines I think they call them hoochies or something like that.
They have flavored tobacco and they put it somewhere in these contraptions and smoke them. Pretty fancy looking things though.
The next picture is of a ping pong table in the middle of this yard.
This thing was in really poor condition. If you look closely you can see it is warped. I'm sure it would have a been a real treat playing on this thing.
The last picture is, I believe, a place where they act like they are making bread or something like that. I went 4 times and never saw anybody working in there. I think your getting my drift. We never did see a camel. We actually went there at different times of the day to see if we were missing something. We weren't. I think what has gone on is that Army people working here have grown tired of the whole Iraqi people and situation. It is one thing to get along but from what I can tell is that the more we interact with them the more we figure out that they just want everything for free and could drop a rocket on you and not give a crap.
The tours then have went away from the oasis and really centered on going out to eat at the restaurant then to the PX and walk around and look at the stuff they have in there. It has been a great time to relax and feel like we aren't here.
I hope the weekend has been great. 2 more blogs from Iraq and then one when I get back to Georgia and one when I get back home to Nebraska. Thanks for listening.