Customs, Goodbye, and A Christmas Carol

This morning it was COLD in our hooch and I didn’t want to get out of bed. I finally got up around 7:45 for our 8:30 formation. We emptied out the quad cons that we packed yesterday and laid everything out. Every case was opened, every box was emptied, every duffle bag was emptied. The government equipment stayed outside and all our personal things went inside. Each person got a sheet of plywood (our floor is plywood) and we had to lay all our stuff out. The Haz-Mat (hazardous materials) inspector came through first and that was quick. Then the customs officials (MPs) came and went through everything. Nothing major was found – just a few items that people didn’t know they couldn’t ship. It actually went pretty quickly, and once our personal stuff was inspected, we could pack it back up. Then we got the quad cons loaded back up and built the 4 pallets (a metal platform on which things are packed and then covered with plastic and cargo nets). The MPs sealed the containers and put their stamp of approval on everything and we were DONE by 1:30!!! We had thought it would take a lot longer than that. We were released for chow and by 2:00 when I was coming out of the chow hall, there were already 3 quad cons on the back of a flatbed truck. It was good to see that stuff drive off!

After relaxing during the afternoon some, and crocheting for a bit, and dinner, I headed up to the chapel for cast call which was at 6:00. The Bagram Allied Thespians are putting on A Christmas Carol this week. Tonight was opening night! I am one of the carolers. The director added a touch of Afghanistan to the play, and the carolers are dressed in Afghan clothes. We are poor Afghans, and have dirt smudges on our faces, and mismatched clothes. I even go barefoot because I’m so poor. We sit around a burn barrel (complete with fire in it – red chem lights and a couple of candles) with some wood in it. We are cold, trying to stay warm from our meager fire. But our carols are warm and friendly.

The play went really well for its first night and about 50 in attendance. I think my only bad part was intermission when I went backstage and the floor was COLD. LOL The actors/actresses did really well, despite the missed lines. We carolers have a script hiding behind our fire barrel. Lots of work has been put into this in a short time, and it will be a nice break for the soldiers/sailors/airmen/Marines/civilians stationed here. Hopefully more people from the band will be able to make it the next 2 nights – there were 2 of the females there tonight.

This tired caroler is off to bed as another day awaits.