Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Day...

Hello Everyone,

Well another day in the sand and everything has been back to the same routine for me. Last night our company's soccer team played a team from Britian. I bet you can guess how that turned out. We lost 3-0. Our next game is against the Ugandans. Mike and Bryan played really well. Mike played soccer for Butler and is really an excellent player.

Bryan will be going home of leave. Steph, you asked what you could do for Bryan when he gets home. Do me a favor and buy a bunch of Crispy Cream doughnuts, A large bag of Dorito chips, some chocolate and perhaps cook him something in real lard. We have spent the last 8 months working out and eating well and when I went home, I slacked off. I restarted my physical training program yesterday and tonight I did my normal work out and became so nauseated that I almost hurled. Bryan looked at me like I was an amatuer. So, try to soften him up when he's home so I can poke his belly and make fun of him when he returns.

The mood around the company has improved. I think people are feeling the end and we are ready to go home. We do have 12 people who have volunteered to stay another year with our replacement company. I referred them all for a mental health evaluation.

I have been working on my next book in the Hannah KaReese series. KaReese, Tara, Zoey, and the twins, along with others will find themselves in Denmark. Of course dangerous adventure is around every corner and events will arise that will push these friends to the brink of tolerance. I am excited and I hope you will enjoy my effort.

Karen gave me the book 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' I read it from cover to cover on the plane ride back here. I am not a fast reader, it's just that we were on the plane for 3 months. :0)

I Skyped Karen and Karis last night and Karis told me that she was picked to sing a solo in her school play. She also will have her art work put on the cover of the program. She was excited and I am just a proud and bragging dad. She also told me that a boy likes her and is writing her love notes. He even tried to put his arm around her while they were sitting on the stage and listening to the Director. The boy is also ten. Now, what kind of boy writes love letters to girls? When I was ten, I thought of nothing else but baseball and how to get out of doing my homework. So, as a dad, I am not sure what to do about this. Is there a Dad's of Daughter's Handbook anywhere? I think I need one. Up until now, things were relatively easy and straight forward but now... Anyway any advise would be appreciated. I think Karis maybe the first Protestant Nun. I think I will put her in home school and not allow her to leave the house until she is 25.

In all seriousness, I am so proud of Karis. She is the best daughter a parent could ever hope to raise. She is kind and considerate, honest and principled, hard working and compassionate. I can't help but to brag about her to everyone.

It is funny that all of the providers here are father's of daughters. Bryan has one daughter, Mike Roscoe has three daughters, Mike Jones has a daughter, Travis has a daughter and the new Doc, Drew has a daughter. So we frequently sit around and share stories. It is pretty clear that the older our girls get the less we know.

Anyway, things are going well. I miss everyone at home but am glad to be here with my friends. The comradery in this environment can never be duplicated in any other situation. We would sacrifice everything for our friends. I will miss this the most when our tour is over.

The Iraqi conference went well. The progress for a stable national health care system is slow but moving forward. They still do not have an emergency response system. So, no ambulances, no EMT's or Paramedics, and no means to transport patients to medical facilities. The responsibility of transport falls on the shoulders of the family of the person in need of care. Additionally, the treatment of mental health issues is inadequate. The perception of patients with mental health problems is that they are cursed. Patients with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, dissociative disorders, etc... are ostracized and consequently these patients either go untreated or are locked away in one of the three mental institutions in Iraq.

Religious beliefs play an important role in medicine. Male patients are seen by male physicians and female patients are seen by female physicians especially when it comes to any exam that requires removal of clothing. When anyone in a family is ill, the father is the one who determines if his family member gets medical care not the mother. Christianity is still not tolerated in this new government. Actually, Christianity was more tolerated under Saddam, but now that power has been re-established with tribal leadership, Christians are not as tolerated, even in medicine.

So, Iraqi's have a long way to go before they will have a stable National Health Care System, but progress is being made.

Well, I just wanted to give a quick update. I hope you are all well and remember to be kind and forgiving to others. The measure that you provide others will also be provided to you. Kindness can lift a broken heart and invigorate a sad Spirit. So, make an effort to be kind even when kindness is not returned.

I love you guys and thank you for a nice leave.


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