Not much new to report here. It's been pretty uneventful lately - which is a good thing, I guess. I have been keeping busy installing equipment into HMMWVs and other vehicles. If you thought you got dirty working on a car in the US, try working on one that has been caked in dirt and mud. Even though I'm wearing some sort of brown/tan clothing, I come out from under the vehicle completely covered in dirt. On a plus side, the more I breathe in, the less is here... During the day, it may seem like a clear day but at night, when you have your flashlight on, it looks like you're in the middle of a dust storm. It's one of those things you don't want to think about or you'd want to stop breathing. The dust just gets everywhere... Even inside things. I don't know how but you can open up a sealed package and find it in there.
Being right by the Euphrates, you'd think that we would have a lot of water available to us. One thing I learned here is that the Euphrates is not a river of water but a river of a water- based substance. Someone told me that if you go swimming in there, you'll need to get 6 shots into your stomach. Even without hearing that, I had no plans to use it for anything other than a picture background.
In all the other bases I had been so far, there were enough lights that you didn't need a flashlight, no matter where you went. Here, there are very few lights and most are inside. A few nights ago it was so dark, I couldn't see my hand when it was 2 inches from my face, literally. It gives new meaning to the word "dark" here. Despite this, it affords me the opportunity to see a night sky like I have never seen before. Without all the background light like in a lot of populated areas, all the little dim stars shine bright. Occasionally, I'll just sit outside looking at the sky before I go to sleep. In this war zone, in which my area is not very active, it's nice to have something a little different to distract you.