Yesterday I visited a base (the OCCP) I spent a lot of time on before the U.S. withdrew, and saw some Afghan soldiers who were part of our volleyball tradition, and who had accompanied us on various missions. They seemed genuinely pleased to see me, and it was nice to know the feeling was mutual.
The meeting I had, also reminded me of departed colleagues who had a biting, yet incredibly refreshing sense of humor that I will belatedly share. Referring to an unnamed individual one of them wrote, "it seems Mr. X has been replaced with an android with a new ethics chip" another replied "hmm, I've heard of these bots, but never seen one; I'd like seats to show, but must be seated in the bombproof section".
Sadly I remember the exchange because the new chip seems to be malfunctioning at the moment, but that's another story for another place.
I may have mentioned the difficulty of movement here, which is a constant grind. However I still had to grin at an old email about past travel which concluded with
In an effort to better serve our customers, please note that our fees have increased by $20 per passenger (and there will no longer be a complimentary snack).
Another popular subject of discussion/derision are the many, many reports and presentations that filter out to the field and are of, well, variable utility. One particularly noteworthy waste of time earned this response:
I'm telling all of my friends that if they only have time to read one powerpoint presentation this summer, this is it. A rollercoaster of a ride and destined to become an overnight classic. Two thumbs up.
Other memorable comments ran the gamut from soliciting contributions to a personal retirement fund to laying claim to a ridiculously flamboyant vase of plastic flowers that had somehow migrated into the camp command center to all manner of less savory, but still good natured ideas/accusations.