Monday, July 17, 2006

Smell the Barn, Brian

For all his friends, here is the latest from Brian of Djibouti. Note, Brian needs footballs (er.. soccer balls) for the kids. I'm sure we can do that for them.


Another couple of weeks have passed here in Djibouti. We have started to ‘smell the barn’ as our CO says. We have seen the news articles about our replacements, and we are anxiously awaiting their arrival. This has been an unprecedented week as I worked more this week than other week since I have been here. We have lots of Marines out on their 96 hour passes, and most of the platoons are short more than a few guys.

My platoon got the rest of today off and a few of my buddies and I went out to town for some chow. The food is pretty good, we eat steak and fries for about 9 bucks which is a steal in Djibouti city, as a 2 year old beer normally costs us 6 bucks. As you can see by my plate on the right, I had to have some limes to make the meal complete (sorry picture is dark).

I'm really beat, but coffee, red bull and monster energy drink help make up the difference. The job here is still pretty demanding, and the Navy has taken over. At the end of the day I would much rather have the Marine Corps in command of the base, but the Navy is pretty happy to have us here and is still supporting us.

I am still standing the same post as I have since we got here, it’s the busiest post on the camp, and most days it’s a hand full. We deal with all incoming personal into the camp, including US personal, KBR (Kellogg Brown Root), foreign/host country nationals and vehicle traffic. I have been keeping up with business as usual with the amount of interdictions of prohibited items coming on base.

I spent about 10 hours at the orphanage this week. All of the things you have been sending have been a big help. Most of the kids are too young to remember, but we hope that Americans in the future will be looked on with a positive light.

Djibouti is a small place, and even smaller when it comes to global politics. Last week I had the opportunity to work with some people from the US State Department. A couple of fellow Marines and I helped distribute books written in English to schools in the area. The Embassy provided the books, the Navy Seebees made book shelves; the Marines sorted and distributed the books. It was a great experience dealing with the State Department people, they are great Americans that pick up and move their lives in the service of their country about every two years.

I also got to help with a boat project our company has been working on. I spent a few house driving around the countryside trying to broker a deal between the Djiboutian police, a local school, a tribal chief, and the Marines for a old boat to transform into a jungle gym. The tribal chief was a really nice man, about 75 years old, and walked with a cane. Everywhere we went he was well respected. We met with all the parties involved and we still haven’t been able to secure a boat for the project, but hopefully soon we will get it done.

I have only one special request for this e-mail. Of the kids I met this week all of them play soccer like it’s a lifestyle, but they can't get a decent soccer ball to play with. If someone can come up with a soccer ball or two even used I would greatly appreciate it. I can inflate a ball if it is sent un-inflated.

Next week my buddies and I are going to visit the older kids orphanage, we hear its more work than the babies but we know we can make a decent impression on them.

I again want to thank all of you who have sent packages to the kids and to me. Thanks for everything!

Hope all is well with all of you!



My grandson Johnny is leaving for his second tour in Iraq this Saturday. Thanks to Lori, I already have lots of beef jerky to send him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of your updates! You write such interesting letters.
Thanks dad for sharing them with us.
We have a box ready to go to Djibouti from Bend.
Thanks to Lori and everyone also for the Jerky going to Johnny and crew in Iraq and for all of your prayers and well wishes!

11:07 AM  

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