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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pol-e-Charki Base Commander Says “No”

I spent all day today, just like yesterday, making sure that everything in place to ensure a successful national team tryout. The end result is that the day did not end in success.

The Pol-e-Charki Base Commander said that we did not follow procedures and all of the people who have to approve the request to let civilians onto the base were never notified. I asked Reshad if he was not translating correctly. He reaffirmed what the General said. I was very confused on why he changed his decision after the tryouts already started. He also stated that it will be the same way the rest of the week.

If that is the case, the Afghanistan National Water Polo Team tryouts will not be completed. What are we supposed to do now? I will keep on the Base Commander to see if we can convince him to say yes for the rest of the week. Where is Steve Scott when you need him?

With the look of defeat on my face, Reshad started asking the Base Commander about other topics. I was mortified at the fact that Reshad was all of a sudden being so friendly with the General after he just put a stop to something that could be potentially great and that the General reversed what he promised earlier. If I promised something to him, he would expect it. The worst part of it was that Reshad told him that I wanted the answers to the questions he was asking (i.e. the weather, the progress of the football field, Ramadan). Reshad was then translating random comments to me, I would ask him for clarification of what he was saying, then Reshad would take my comments and formulate different questions that “I asked”.

Besides being defeated and confused, I was now furious at Reshad. After we walked out the door, he asked me if he could explain to me what happened. He then explained to me that in Afghanistan, walking 10 kilometers is sometimes shorter than running 1 kilometer. What kind of antidote is that? What does that even mean? He also said that the General really likes and respects me and to give it time. Time? What time? Pools in Afghanistan close in one week.




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