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Jeff's Afghan Diary: Mother's Day Surprise
May 10, 2007

      Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there (including mine, along with my wife, the mother of our children)!

      We finally replaced the flywheel on our HMMWWV, after two days of grunting and wrench-turning.  We’ve got two ruined uniforms to show for our efforts, but the deed is done, and now the vehicle can start without a problem.  (Before, there were times it wouldn’t start, because gears were worn out on the flywheel.)  Now we can roll back to Doa China.

      We are preparing to go back to Doa China again, and renew our training with the ABP.  We have been receiving school supplies from families and friends back home to give the Afghan schoolchildren in the area: paper, pens, crayons, scissors, etc.  There are no shops in the area that have such supplies, and most schools are very limited in what they have for the children, so it’s a big opportunity for us to help out and show we care.  The kids are almost always delighted to receive these supplies, as are the teachers.

      I took some time to send my Mom and my wife flowers for Mother’s Day, as a surprise.  I called one of the well-known toll-free florist numbers and placed an order over the phone, using one of the government satellite phone lines here.  (Soldiers can use these lines to call home, provided they are not in use for operations at the time; the soldier usually has to use a domestic calling card to complete the call.)  I think they will be surprised, because there is no way for me to send anything like flowers from here!  I’m glad I could call and place an order from overseas!

      Things have been heating up in Doa China since we’ve left.  Apparently, when the ABP were out on a patrol, they were shot at by someone.  So not all is sweetness and light in what appeared to be a relatively quiet part of Afghanistan.  But then, violence happens in America as well.  We just need to be prepared for it.

      We have been planning classes to help train our ABP partners, so they will be better prepared when they encounter another attack.  That’s our mission - to train and prepare them to be able to maintain security in the area.

      We finally got Internet access fixed in Waza Khwa, just in time for us to move out and not have access to it in Doa China.  Oh, well, it will be here whenever we return.

      Waza Khwa is now teeming with Poles.  They seem to be getting stir-crazy here, since they can’t leave the FOB yet.  The gym here is always full of Polish soldiers, pumping iron to stay in shape, like us.  The chow hall now has much longer lines at each meal, and I’ve even had to stand in line to wait to take a dump in the latrine.  More US troops are supposed to be coming as well, so it looks like it will get worse.

      But at least the Internet is working again!

-- Jeff Courter

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Charles Henderson

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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.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.