Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday, August 31st

In June 2012 I deployed overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom. As a female combat medic in the United States Army, I traveled frequently. The day I left the United States, we had a layover in Germany for a few hours. This was the beginning of seeing new culture and people. Our next flight was from Germany to Kuwait City, Kuwait. The first moment I walked out of the plane I was immediately shocked by the heat. I remember thinking that I must have been directly behind the engine and that would account of the intense level of heat I was experiencing. Unfortunately I was wrong. I kept walking further from the plane and the heat stayed the same. Locals drove us to our base via bus. This was the first time I'd ever seen nothing but desert for miles and miles.

Adapting to the weather was not was not my only struggle. During my deployment I came into contact with many natives. Their dress, foods, and social norms were very different to mine. The weather and area were one of the most difficult to accustom to.

I deployed in June, which is already a typically hot summer month. In the middle east, it is extremely hot, and only gets hotter and hotter as the months go on until about November of December where the nights slightly cool down. It does not rain, hardly ever. In the approximate eight/nine months I was deployed, I could estimate that it rained maybe three times. One major environmental factor is that the middle east is subject to sandstorms. Some sandstorms get so bad it physically stings as it whips through the air and strikes your skin. There is almost zero visibility during these storms.

Although I don't know the exact time I took this picture, I estimate it was in the November/December months. This sunset was able to light up the entire sky. I especially love the large sky portion of the picture where the light from the sun is able to stretch out. This picture was taken with an old smart phone camera.

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