November 2, 2002
The DANCON March is tomorrow—I hope I do ok. I’m a little nervous since it’s 18.5 miles in the hills surrounding Tuzla Air Base. We must wear uniforms (combat boots don’t quite breathe like tennis shoes) and carry a 20lb pack.
I received 3 boxes from home today! Yay! I’ve been “nesting” all night — so good to have sights, smells and touches from home.
Went off-base with Angel (OSI guy) and Allison (his male interpreter) for lunch and “orientation” today. It was great — very interesting and a little sad. The town of Tuzla isn’t much but more progressive than I expected. Lots of coffee drinking, smoking Europeans. Cute, young girls walking around anxious to meet boys; some on rollerblades, some with pink or orange hair—typical stuff you would see anywhere.
The little ones were so adorable—no different than American kids. There were some gypsy’s and beggars and old people who were just wandering or begging. Lots of rebuilding going on but Allison said not much has been done in the 21/2 years he’s been here. Angel said, “look at all those buildings—they all have termites, BIG ONES!” Well, he was comically referring to the .50 caliber bullet holes in the buildings. The war is very visible here.
I must get some sleep now. I’m not tired but my alarm goes off at 0400 for the March. Yikes!
Happy thought: I got a really nice email from Alyson—the girl who sent the Christmas cards, in response to my thank you email to her. It was so sweet and she appreciated my thank you note.
Fast forward: I have no recollection of this girl (Alyson) or those cards but I continue to be touched by the random acts of kindness from strangers.