I don’t think I’ve mentioned too much about my big sister, Sharon recently, except maybe the fact that she’s in Kuwait. She just left the U.S. a few weeks ago to go and work for at least six months for the Red Cross as an Assistant Station Manager over there. I’m very proud of her that she’s following her dreams and stepping out of her comfort zone. She’s a year older than I am and has left the safe soil of the U.S. for the first time in her life.
Now she’s started to send updates on her experience via email. She was supposed to be blogging, but she’s new to it and I guess it’s just too much to think about with everything else that’s going on, so she gave me permission to post her emails. In some cases, I may leave out some of her personal commentary, since this is a public forum and I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but I have been enjoying her journey and thought you might too. She’s not sending pictures yet, but I’ll see what I can do to get something to look at…we’ll see.
This photo above is from a recent trip that the 3 sisters and my mom took to Breckenridge this summer when Sharon had the chance to fulfill a dream of going sailing. Needless to say, you can tell from her expression that she LOVED it!
Here are a few of her updates to catch you up:
Oct 31 Note: Leaving this morning for Fort Benning, Georgia (U.S.) to be issued military gear and then on to Kuwait. May be out of touch for a few weeks. Limbo is a strange place to be. You live in my heart and go where I go. Be well. Be happy. I should be back online by November 15th or so. Write or something. Love Sharon
Oct 31 Activities: Arrived at Fort Benning. Very sparse quarters, 4 to a room with bunk beds and lockers. “Gas chamber” style showers. Lady next to me snores worse then me, if that’s possible. Met a guy on the way from Atlanta to Fort Benning that was Arabic translator with Jewish name who was Catholic, born in Iraq, raised in Chicago and now living in Modesto and working for the DOD as a linguist who speaks Babylonian, Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, and English. Talk about multicultural! Does he know who he is when he gets up in the morning? Interesting people… DOD and contractors make a lot of money out here in the theater. Figure a minimum of triple any normal salary for any job. If you make $50,000 per year as a civilian, the same job with DOD here pays $150, 000. If you’re willing to sell your life for a year or more big money can be made quickly, triple any civilian salary plus some. Check it out on militaryhire.com or USAjobs.gov under the Department of Defense jobs.
Nov 1 Activities: Life is strange. This morning they line us up behind the military and we hear, “Attention – left face – march!” and I crack up laughing out loud. I don’t know anything about left face or marching, that was not in my training in DC. They like to laugh at our inability to do what they do naturally. I wake up in the mornings and it all seems so very unreal. What happened to make love not war, and here I am living in a barracks with mess halls and firing barrels. One never knows where they will end up. God has a sense of humor, that much I know is true. Population here is one third military, one third DOD civilians and one third contractors.
[Note: if you knew Sharon, you’d know that the laughing OUT LOUD is very predictable. She has a hard time keeping the status quo…she’s a rebel against establishment at heart, so following all these rules has got to be driving her crazy.]
Nov 10 Note from Kuwait: Fort Benning and the trip here were hell, but things are settling down as we get better situated in Camp Arifjan. Camp Ali Al Salem was very spooky and surreal-“The gateway to the middle east”. We got here sometime Saturday or Sunday, lost all track of time for awhile. 6am or 6pm ? I could not tell after a while. I am now working 3pm to 11pm shift. I will write more later this week.
That’s it for now. More installments to come. Since she’s already written a few others, I’ll try to post them daily so be sure to come back often to catch up.