Diary of an HR guy in Iraq Part 2

To My Awesome Family 2
Hi Family! I love you guys so much and can’t wait to see you again...almost half-way there!
Well, lots of stuff going on. We work a lot. We start early in the morning and go well past dark. I’m finally sleeping well...for a while there, my body was waking me up at 4:00 am! I’m also learning to binf my way through the maze of concrete walls that surround all the buildings here. I took some pictures to show you what I mean...

At the end of this twisted corridor it my room! These giant barriers are called T-walls. They were put in recently to keep out mortar shells and giant bugs (joke). Everything looked the same, so I would always get turned around and lose my way! The wooden walk way in the picture below is called “Mortar Alley.” This is where the mortar hit a few months ago (and resulted in all the T- walls being installed). Pretty cozy, eh?

They mop the wooden boardwalks every day. They also do my laundry and clean my room. It’s kinda like living in a hotel! It’s always hot and sunny here...usually around 105 degrees or so. Mommy would hate it! However, it actually rained yesterday. And to my surprise, it was followed by fog! Not exactly what you’d expect in the desert.

When I step out my door in the morning, this is what I see (right). At the end of the walk way is our loading yard (through the gap). This is where military convoys load water onto their
trucks to take off to different bases around Baghdad. The giant T-walls also surround the loading yard (left). On just the other side of the wall is Suddam  Hussein’s  palace grounds. I’ll show you some pictures of his Palace later on.

Check it out, here are some non- military truckloads. These will go all the way up North. It’s a long drive for them. The men wear long man-dresses. It actually keeps them more cool in the hot sun.
To the side of the trucking yard is our little emergency bunker. It’s kinda snug but I guess it will keep you more safe. Our security guy told us that if a mortar shell goes off, we need to stick our thumbs in our ears and open our mouths...otherwise out lungs could explode...nice. Hopefully, I won’t have to worry about that kind of stuff! I feel really good knowing that I can rely on Heavenly Father for protection. I don’t seen how people do it without have the comfort of the Gospel.

We drive past Saddam’s palace every time we go to lunch. The sights are really quite amazing! Below are few pictures. Saddam had dozens of palaces. And because he never wanted people to know where
he was, he made all of his palaces prepare a the meal for him just in case he popped in. Look at the picture on the right. Do you see all the sandbags stacked in the windows? US forces now occupy the palace. It’s very creepy seeing these palaces, knowing all the horrible things that took place here. Since coming here, I’ve heard things that would make your skin crawl!

The gun to the right was left on Saddam’s palace grounds. It’s an anti-aircraft gun. Compared to the everything else out here, it looks very old fashioned. As we drive along the roads here, we see tons of armoured vehicles. I haven't seen any tanks yet, though...which kinda bums me out.
In addition to all the armoured vehicles and stuff here, there are also lots of orchards. However, they’re not the orchards were used to seeing in Utah. I think this orchard grows dates. I tasted a date the other day...not too bad!

Check out these awesome pictures! These are straight off my computer. Seeing these is always the best part of my day! Look familiar?

I love you guys tons! Can’t wait to see you again!
Love, Daddy

Due to security reasons I can't post the pictures, but if you would like an email let me know.   
My nerves aren't any better after reading this but I do feel some peace.  Joani is staying with me and that is SO helpful!  Conference weekend gave me lots of spiritual strength too.


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