Today's big story is - you guessed it - RAIN. Remember my comments about the sand and dirt and dust everywhere? We'll it rained last night and most of today. Everywhere is a giant mud-pit. There are some sidewalks and roads and gravel, but since I live in the "temporary quarters" there are quite a few places I have to walk that don't have those luxuries. It is muddy muddy muddy. My picture won't do it justice. I wanted to take a picture of some of the real muddy parts, but I didn't. I was distracted whenever I was outside by trying to stay dry and out of the mud, and then when I would get in I would think I need to take a pic of the mud. Here's the one I took from the balcony of the buildig we are working in. It was a little cold with the rain - nothing too bad, but enough to make it miserable to be out much if you didn't have to be out. All those vehicles I talked about - well they drive fast on the roads and splash mud everywhere. Trying to stay away from them is tough enough. We rode the little bus they have to help move people all around the camp. that helps to keep you from the mud so much. The people stationed here all mentioned they keep 2 pairs of boots for such an occasion. 1 set for the mud and 1 set for the good days. I'm guessing the mud will be worse at Bucca. Less infrastructure/raods/sidewalks and more sand/mud.
On a better note I ran into a friend today. My boss from the base back home is also here. He's deployed here to Camp Victory we left about the same time and he has been in place for a week working his tail off. He's a bit of a work-a-holic anyway, but he mentioned that was clearly the standard and even he feels behind. I am trying to use that as perspective that these crazy days in Baghdad are a small vacation prior to the storm of real work at my deployed location. I have some stuff to do here, but it does not consume me like the job there will. Here's a picture of us on the of Saddams many thrones. Apparently this one was a gift from Yassir Arafat or something life that. This guys works actually in Al-Fawa (SP?) palace. He's a busy guy. We met up at lunch and he walked me back into the palace to look at his office and the "beauty" of the palace. It reminded me a little of the pentagon. Nice big hallways and many people crammed into little offices. Granted the interior is much better than then Puzzle Palace, but the coming and going and hustle and bustle in and out reminded me of that crazy place. We traded travel stories and shared job stuff. It was nice to see someone you actually know.
We spent the rest of the day helping the local legal guys catch up on some paperwork - joy.
Dinner was beef lasagna and garlic bread, green beans, and of course a Dr Pepper.