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Winter in Afghanistan and well-earned bath

Winter in Afghanistan and well-earned bath.

Beautiful, frosty winter arrived and it’s been here for over a week. It hasn’t snowed so much for a very long time.  It’s beautiful. It is yet very hard to run – intervals in particular.  Snow squeaks when you walk through it. Every few steps, I slide over the slippery surface. I can feel every acceleration in my lungs. Being exhausted after a long run, I get back tired. I dream of having a warm bath. There is no need to worry, in a second I will be lying in my bathtub. This is such a luxury.

In my dreams, I imagined myself being in Ghazni province, towards the northern gate.  I’m loaded with equipment we used to move for many kilometers long patrols.  We used to examine roads and shoulders looking for EOD American sappers searching for the tiniest tracks of explosives that may be hidden there.

Not everyone is aware of the fact how frosty and snowy winters in Afghanistan can be.  Snow was no surprise to us as we were prepared well. Thanks to the different level of humidity, we were able to built a snowman wearing shorts only.

Meter by meter were we travelling across the lands assigned to us. These patrols weren’t easy. This climbing in the mountains had nothing to do with admiring the views.

We had to be fully concentraded, we could have missed a thing.  Two thousands kilometers up, snow reaching almost to our hips.  We were wearing bulletproof vests, helmets on our heads, and holding guns. When we were acting, there was no possibility to drop down with fatigue, sit and rest even for a second. Vigilance had never left us as we were aware of the exterior limitations caused by a potential attack.  Apart from obvious factors such as being loaded with equipment and walking in snowy, open, uncovered countryside, there were many small elements that could reduce our chances of coming away unscathed from fire attack.  It is hard to believe but in cold weather, our sunglasses were constantly fogging and, hence, reducing visibility. Our balaclavas condensed steam and our sweat. It all could result in each of us being dead.

Thankfully, nothing like that has happened. After the patrol, we used to fall asleep straight after entering Rosomak. Before arriving to the base, despite heating being turned on in our car, we were really cold. Our wet uniforms made us cold immediately.  There were no chances of having a warm bath.

I am getting back to reality. Soon, I will enter my warm house and I will take my well-deserved bath.

I feel nicely tired after a tough run. The run after which my knees didn’t suffer as they did after my trips to Afghanistan, when I visited snowy mountains.