Saturday, February 10, 2007
5:17 pm cet
I received a wonderful surprise in the mail today: a carton of handmade Valentines from the Bement
Lower School where my boys attend! I want to thank them so much, because it has brightened up my mood and the mood of many
of the other soldiers with whom I have shared them. As I have said before, the days drag on here for the most part because
little bad is happening unlike Iraq, so the challenge is to stay sharp and ready if and when it does. These gifts from home
really liven up the drudgery.
The UN released its preliminary recommendation for the status of Kosovo, and the Serbs are not happy. The Russians neither.
Still, possession is nine tenths the law, and NATO isn't going anywhere soon (except Afghanistan). It turns out that I am
scheduled to fly out of here on the day that the final recommendation is released. If the Pristina airport is not burning
then, I will be home by mid March. (I also hope that the Air Force transport flight path does not cross over Serbia...)
See the Gallery link for pictures of my recent trip to Pristina where I gave a Grand Rounds at the University Medical
Thursday, January 25, 2007
3:59 pm cet
Sorry to be so episodic with my posts. The days are so much the same and busy enough that I lose track of time. That
works to my advantage for passing the time until redeployment. I have been feeling pretty sick lately, too, but I hope the
worst is over.
Correction to last post: The Serbians voted and passed their constitution last October.
The results of last Sunday's Serbian Parliamentary election were not encouraging either. The conservative party received
the most votes, albeit only 26 percent. We will have to see how a government is formed. We all await the UN commission recommendation
on Kosovo which is due this week or next.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
This is the point.
6:12 pm cet
Today is Seribian parliamentary election day. This parliament will decide, from the Serbian point of view, the fate of
Kosovo. Interesting that they are also voting on a constitutional amendment declaring Kosovo forever a part of Serbia. Not
a very flexible position. Also interesting that Kosovo Albanians were not allowed to register for the vote.
Yesterday was the Islamic New Years Day as governed by their lunar calendar. Traditionally, fighting has been frowned
upon in this first month of the year, but news from Iraq suggests that is no longer the case.
Not much to report from the hospital. A few fender-benders but no real trauma.
I will report next time on my visit to the Pristina University Hospital.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
The view from here.
9:42 am cet
I promised pictures of the place. Check the Gallery page for the standard foggy day scenes of the camp
followed by a "clear day." Above is the view from my front porch. For those of you interested in satellite views, try Google
Earth or Microsoft Terraserver with the following latitude and longitude: 42 22'00.07N, 21 15'00.13E
Friday, January 12, 2007
You're not 20 anymore.
4:10 pm cet
I was talked into flag football last night under the floodlights of our on-base soccer pitch. Fast enough for the first
ten plays, I pulled my hamstring trying to overtake a 30 year old and feel very silly now. I feel a little less
lonely that the guy who talked me into it tweaked his hamstring 30 minutes later. I think I will stick to the stationary bike
in the gym from now on. Wish they had a rowing machine, though.
My visit to the orphanage was fun. The kids were happy to see us. They are not war orphans, however. Generally they are
abandoned children, some with birth defects or special needs, and others are like our foster children being removed from bad
situations at home. The facility was beautiful having been built by the Austrian and I think Swiss governments. There was
also an attached kindergarten that catered to neighborhood kids as well. It looked just like any well kept American school
complete with backpacks on pegs with name tags and the walls plastered with artwork. Look who has made it to Kosovo:
The local time in Kosovo (still a province of Serbia, for now) is...Click Here. P.S. Can you name all of the countries bordering
the orange one?
Check out the local weather (Click Here).