Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Camp

The camp is in the international airport complex, within the perimeter wall but outside the military section. Protected but not overwhelmed. Simple but Spartan, with no real facilities to speak of and, thanks to the fractured nature of the nationalities, from what I can see almost no socializing outside the ethnic groups and no entertainment area in which to mix. I’m going to have to get access to the Army PX and facilities ASAP.

Baghdad International Airport There are three basic areas – office and accommodation, maintenance and servicing, stocking and dumping. The camp is essentially self sufficient. It has its own canteen, work-out area, laundry, energy supply, water potabilization system, store. There’s cable TV (not that I can get it to work) and internet access (which I can and is why you can read what I’m writing – otherwise it’s a bottle down the Tigris).

After unpacking and having a quick lunch (food’s not bad) I wandered around to see who’s doing what. Then met up with the other arrivals and had a more focused tour. The objective of the next couple of weeks is to familiarize myself with the work at all levels – top down and bottom up. Starting Monday I’ll accompany the workers to see how they operate. Today and tomorrow it’s introductions and question time. I’m not going to talk about the work itself, or the company for that matter – this blog isn’t designed for that. Just my adventures and experiences.

Here I am!Managed to send “I’m here” messages to most everyone (well you all know that). Skipped dinner, not intentionally but because the canteen closes at 7pm and no-one told me. Went back to the cabin, wrote up yesterday and watched a Japanese movie I downloaded earlier called “Bird People” – a slightly off-the-wall story of hunting for jade and a mythical people in China.

Camp starts working at 6:30 am, so in bed early. Not that I could sleep much, as it turns out. But that’s a story for tomorrow.

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