Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Q and A, part 2

Some more questions from my Facebook page:
How's the weather?
Kandahar is in the southern part of Afghanistan, sandwiched between Pakistan and Iran. The conditions here are mostly desert: very dry, and very, very dusty. When we first arrived, a front was actually bringing in a lot of dust, and the air was thick with the stuff. Week before last we had a little rain and that helped clean things up a bit, and the air is much clearer now. During the summer the temperatures can get into the low 100's F, but right now we're hitting high 70's-low 80's during the day. Also, because of the dry air, nighttime cools off quickly, and temperatures can get down to the 40's. I think some nights we've actually made it to the 30's! Needless to say, the conditions can be a bit harsh on the sinuses. But if you like sunshine, this is a place you should check out!

Are facilities staffed by Americans, or locals?
It depends. While there are American civilians here, most of them are contractors who are doing other work. Most of the people in the shops and restaurants are not American, though I'm not always certain that they are Afghans. It can be difficult to tell as Afghanistan has several ethnic groups which may speak different languages, though most of the people who work around here know at least basic English. I think some of the workers may be immigrants from Pakistan or India.

What other allied countries are represented at Kandahar?
There are several, and I'll almost certainly leave some out, but the ones I have seen include: Bulgaria, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Romania, Australia, Slovakia, Turkey, New Zealand, and of course Afghanistan. I haven't had much interaction with those from non-English-speaking countries, though I'm sure I'll have a chance to practice my rudimentary French, or to inform the Romanians that the only sentence I know in Romanian is "I don't speak Romanian."

Do the locals ever request "Free Bird"?
Not to my knowledge, but I'll try and learn the Dari and Pashto (both forms of Persian that are spoken here) for "Free Bird" just to be sure!

Keep asking, and there's more to come!

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