Saturday, July 31, 2010

Of Helmand: Lashkar Gah

Your correspondent's intra-Helmand flights, detailed in previous installments, were from the Regional Command at Camp Leatherneck to the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the capital of Lashkar Gah. "Lash" (as it's known to people too busy to give any place name three syllables) is an interesting case. It was formerly known for its extensive USAID-financed infrastructure, and was sort of the envy of many neighbors. Now, not so much. Sadly, as these things go, your correspondent didn't see much of Lash because he never left the walls of the compound where the PRT works. I did note that they had a pretty nice little garden, a much more talented reader reciting the call to prayer over the town loudspeaker than the one near Embassy Kabul, and a much better cafeteria than we have. Helmand PRT is run by the Brits, and they have a different food contractor than we do. Illustrative examples: We have fridges full of canned soft drinks and boxed juices; they have a little fountain dispensing tang. While we have nice dessert at the embassy cafeteria, they have options that include a broad selection of imported cheeses. We all have our priorities, I suppose.

Photo Note: I got a few good pictures at Lash that I fear may be unpublishable for security reasons, but I think this one of barbed wire and the moon is probably not revealing any defense secrets.

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