I did NOT want to go outside the wire today for a few reasons.
One: it’s the end of Ramadan. And, although the majority of those who observe Ramadan are peaceful people, it’s the ones who aren’t that we worry about. Specifically, the final days of the holy month here are referred to as the “nights of power.” During these final days, some extremists believe that any act you perform will be magnified in the eyes of Allah, thereby increasing (or decreasing, depending on what you do) your favor with Him. Insurgents interpret this to mean that any attacks that result in killing us infidels is good for them. Which brings me to reason number two …
Two: Kabul has been dangerous lately, with 26 people dying a couple of days ago (by suicide attack,) plus another 3 died September 6th (by attack at the airport.) In fact, within the past five weeks, there have been four major attacks in Kabul, according to the Associated Press. And those are only reported when there are people dead … many more were wounded this month (that you’ll never hear about.)
Three: We had more rocket attacks here at Bagram last night. I mentioned in a previous post that they happen frequently, although YOU’LL only hear about them when someone dies. But the truth is they happen often. Usually, the bad guys don’t hit anything … but sometimes, they do. I won’t spread rumors here, so I will share more info about last night as soon as I learn more. (Please check the blog for updates.)
Anyway, when I realized this morning that our team would be passing through Kabul, during Eid, one day after our base was attacked, I was less than thrilled. As usual, I sweated a bit as we rode, but was glad to see that even in the more tense areas, everyone was just celebrating Eid peacefully. (Don’t START nothin’, won’t BE nothin’!)
I did my usual gig … I talked to some people, I gave out some goodies, and I tried to convince people to get involved in their development. Today being Eid, I had a difficult time, as there were not too many people on the streets. However, there were LOADS of children, all waiting for their EID gifts from the “rich” Americans.
On Eid, children get all dressed up in nice clothing. They dye their hands with henna (both boys and girls,) and the children wear eye liner (both the boys and girls.) When they saw our MRAPs (armored vehicles) drive up, they came running.
“What did you bring me for EID?”, they asked me in their native language, Dari. (I laughed the first time I heard a child ask me this, because every year at this time, Muna asks me the same thing!)
I gave out some toys and candy, and asked them if I could take a few pics. (See the Afghanistan pics page for today’s images.)
We made it back to Bagram safely, but I still keep worrying about the indiscriminate rocket attacks. They usually only happen at night, and usually when everyone is asleep.
There’s nothing I can do about it … If I can hear the rocket, that means I’m safe (because it’s already passing over me, headed for somebody else.) But, if it’s going to hit ME, I’ll never know (because I’ll be sleeping.) Staying awake worrying about it won’t help.