Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Do Buy!

These are a few snaps of us en route home. Layover in Dubai. Don't ask about the excess luggage charges. We had 14 pieces of checked baggage. And before we left Afghanistan General Caldwell's people gave me an amazing pair of Afghan made Army issue boots - a new employment scheme for Kabul. One of the things General Petraeus pointed out as we flew over Kabul were all of the new construction sites. The U.S. military is training the Afghan Army, as we reported. They are supposed to increase by 100,000 troops in the next few years. That means they are going to need shoes (and uniforms). So instead of buying from China and having them fall apart on their first mission, the US commanders invited a team from Clemson, South Carolina to design a shoe and come up with a factory. They did and now the first boots are rolling off the line. (Greg got a pair for his birthday today - just in case he enlists - which he might after the day we had en famille!) They aren't exactly Louboutins. I brought the boots home along with a dagger used by Afghan commandos given to me by General Caldwell, who has the uphill and essential task of training the Afghan forces (his quote about how most are so illiterate that they have to be taught not just to drive but how to open a car door. Wow.) They call the dagger a "pig sticker" for those who boar hunt. Greg isn't too pleased to have me sleeping with it under my pillow.