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Jeff's Afghan Diary: The Polish Army
November 9, 2007

      We have company – the Polish Army sent two officers and a senior NCO to DO China, and we have the only hooch with room for them to stay.  So now we are sharing our space with the Poles for a bit.

      Both the officers speak English, as do all Polish officers.  The NCO only speaks Polish, though.  When I asked the Polish lieutenant about this, he answered, “Do your NCOs speak Polish?”  I had to concede that he had a point.

      The Polish officers were sent down to supervise the distribution of food and goods to local villages around Do China.  Two helicopters full of HA (humanitarian aid supplies) came with them, carrying wheat, beans, winter clothing and toys.  The HA filled two HMWWV trailers – enough for many villagers.  In the next day or two, they will set off like Santa with his sleigh, delivering toys and goodies to men, women and children nearby.

      Of course, this was a surprise visit to us – we had not been told they were coming, nor that we would be asked to make a place for them.  But the Poles were very nice, polite and well informed.  They seemed very European, not at all what I had expected from a western Europe country.  In fact, they seemed to be proud of their country, as anyone should be.

      In fact, Poland has brought Afghans from Paktika Province to visit Poland for two weeks as a bit of a cultural exchange project.  I have heard that the Afghans who went were very impressed, and would like to return to Poland one day.  It was truly an expansion of their views of the world.  Poland, too, has been pleased to be part of rebuilding Afghanistan.

      I asked the young Polish lieutenant how to say “good morning” so whenever I return to Waza Khwa, I can properly greet the many Polish Soldiers who are stationed there.  He taught me the word, “Jindobray” (I probably have misspelled it here – my apologies), whick is a word the Poles use almost any time of day as a greeting.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunity to use the word again!

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

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