It is a work in progress.
So to catch you all up, Christmas came and went without much of a hitch. Only one left to go... woohoo. Things have been relatively quieter over the past week. The hospital is still plenty busy with run-of-the-mill ER stuff - delivered my 5th baby this afternoon. Not really what you would expect from a COMBAT Support Hospital, but we have to take care of the people who show up at our door. The mood on Christmas was bittersweet as I am sure people wished they were home with family, but there were still some festivities to be had with the commadn group wandering around the hospital charolling and all. That's what happens when people have free time, they put on funny costumes and sing apparently. I would prefer to sleep.
The dining facility (or DFAC) was decorated in the same bizarre style as Thanksgiving - attached some pics of some of the decorations - Abe Lincoln appeared again, but no George Washington this time, maybe next year.
Got to do a little more exploring of the IZ, unfortunatly, I think I have exhausted all the places I haven't been yet and we still have over a year to go. Oh well, that's what movies are for I guess. There are several communications towers in the IZ with commanding views - made friends with the key holder for one of them, and my friend Dena (Family Practice doc) and I got to explore to the top. Well worth the 250 steps up.
Other than that, not much new and exciting to report here. Stil mostly enjoying the people I work with - really am lucky to have such a good team of people here in the ER. The surgeons get on our nerves - but hell - they are surgeons and get on everyones nerves. Besides, they rotate out in a little over a month - they only have to be here for 6 months at at time and they showed up 3 months before us.
So here are the pics for this latest instalment...
Convinced a couple of my goyim (if you don't know what this means - contact me privately) friends to come with me down to Saddam's palace for the last night of Hannukah. It was an experience having one of the 7 Jewish Chaplains in the Army lead us in Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel under a giant "Merry Christmas" which itself s surrounded by the words "Saddam Hussein" imprinted into every 50th brick.
Courtesy of my mother-in-law, the inflatable palm trees to decorate our relaxation spot on top of the hospital - also some pink flamingos. We got a little tired of trying to blow them up by hand, and decided to utilize some of the local... supplies... oxygen cylinders blow up palm trees nicely. A little bit of a fire hazard, but what is life without risks...
Ahhh... yes, the DFAC is decorated to clebrate the... uhmmm... The Bangladeshi interpretation of an American interpretation of Christmas. I am not sure what or who she is, but who am I to ask.
This picture is from that tower - looking out into downtown Baghdad. Immediately next to us is what happens when a few 500 pound bombs meet one of Saddam's palaces. Essentially the entire inside of the building has caved in with actually relatively little damage to the outside. In the distance is the river that is the natural boundary between the IZ and the "red zone", or the rest of Baghdad.
Finally - we get all sorts of cards from schoolchildren all over the country, which is really cute and entertaining as you might imagine. Usually letters of support or encouragement, but this one caught the eye of our staff and now holds a place of honor on our medication lockbox, for all to see...
Hope you are all well. Have a great New Year and thank you for everything.