Wednesday, June 14, 2006

One of many firsts...

“subh ba Khayr” from Camp Shelby. We’re learning to speak Dari. Maybe I should say, we’re trying to learn to speak Dari. We have several linguists in our group so one of the officers is attempting to instill in us the ability to speak. So far, it’s a hopeless cause. Of course, that’s what I said about Spanish when I was in the MTC but I eventually grasped that language. Then, we were told about the military’s language training institute where they rate the ability and difficulty in languages. Spanish ranks as a zero and Dari is a four, with four being the highest. So much for my confidence level.

I’m sure I’ll experience many “firsts” over the coming year, but I had one the other night at dinner. I showed up at the chow hall and looked to see what was being served. I thought it was fried chicken. Turns out, it was battered, deep-fried porkchops. I was a little leary but thought, “when it the south…” It was actually pretty tasty. Of course, I could feel my arteries hardening while I ate it. I took pity on my cholesterol level and only ate half.

The days have been pretty slow. We have yet to have a full day of training. Well that’s not quite true. On Sunday last, we had a full day of required briefings. Does mind numbing/*ss numbing mean anything to anyone. We started at 0700 and went until 1630 in the afternoon. The last few briefers actually read their slides without adding any additional information. About the only thing that made it interesting was interpreting the language they were reading in – “southern.” It’s a form of English where the consonants are dropped and the vowels are run together. Also, it’s not uncommon for consonants to be switched, sort of like a dyslexic person actually speaking in dyslexia. “I ak-sed you a que-ion.” The South may still yet rise…heaven help us if it does!!!

One of my JAGs who works for me was tasked with the collateral duty of being the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for our command. He’s responsible for writing articles for a publication back home. I told him I’d write one or two for him. I’ll attach the first one today and the second one later. Hope you enjoy them.

Ya’ll have a great day.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Bob, wow, I've never been on a blog before. I enjoyed the article. If you are going get along in the south, you need to get your y'alls straight. All y'all is the plural form. Keep those arteries spasming. You'll burn off all those calories when you get "in-country"