After two days of flying, first to Dubai for an overnight and then via Safi airways to Kabul, I was lucky to arrive Thursday, September 2 and get into an apartment my first night. This saved me the agony of sharing a hooch (see pic right) with a stranger for as long as six weeks. I was a bit jetlagged but an Embassy rep met me at the airport and we traveled to the Embassy compound in about 15 minutes through Kabul. I went to a reception that night at the Serena Hotel and slept as well as could be expected.
Friday is our one day off here, so I spent the next day playing volleyball, reading, eating, and filling out forms. It was the next day that started my work week. My colleagues have been under a ton of pressure for the last month since the person I replaced as the Information Officer and Press Attache left August 19. That meant we only had two press officers to handle all media inquiries, ambassadorial travel, and the day-to-day work we deal with (website maintenance, official photography of events, planning upcoming trips, etc.). Unfortunately, my arrival has only meant more work for them since I have a million questions. I have been on the ground now for a full week and only now understand how big a job this will be. But it will be interesting.
During my first days here, a CNN crew was here visiting various provinces. I am attaching the first story from their tour on the training of midwives in Herat. There are a lot of good stories here to tell. Glad I will have a chance to share some of them with my family and friends back home.