Monday 7 April 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories Dubai, AMAB, Sister Beauty salon

Day 29: homecoming rituals

Today was our final day in the MEAO (Middle East Area of Operations) - tomorrow we start the trek home on a chartered A340.

One of the homecoming rituals is sorting through your kit and cleaning off the dust of Afghanistan. The laundry whirs as people wash and scrub everything so that it will pass the quarantine inspection. Some boots are too down-trodden to be taken home.

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Monday 7 April 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories dessert, PTSD, AMAB

Day 28: Decompression

My room mate said to me at 9pm last night: "I feel like I should be doing something, that I should be working! I'm all fidgety and I can't sit still". She keeps checking her right hip for her pistol and her left hip for her military ID that she had to carry at all times on base. She has just returned to AMAB (Al Minhad Air Base) after spending six busy months working on logistics in Kabul. She worked 12 hour days that were punctuated by eating, sleeping and going to the gym. This is not "normal" life!

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Monday 7 April 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories AMAB, Dubai, airfields, mothering

Day 27: Under her wings

Our one hour flight from Bahrain to Dubai turned into an 11 hour endurance test. After spending most of the night in the air waiting for a freak cyclone to ease and in the Bahrain transit lounge, we finally made it back to AMAB (Al Minhad Air Base) safely.

Rain is rare in the Middle East, but it has rained in every place we have visited. We seem to be taking it with us. I wonder if it will be raining in Canberra when we finally get home.

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Thursday 3 April 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories Bahrain, forts, battle watch, surveillance

Day 26 - Battle watch

We had a few spare hours before our flight departed Bahrain today, so G3 and I went to an old fort.  I was particularly pleased to get away from our accommodation, as I felt like I was under house-arrest. Not being able to leave the house without a male escort was stifling (see day 24).

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Thursday 3 April 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories Naval intelligence, opium, heroin, Bahrain, Pakistan

Day 25 - Spooks

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Thursday 3 April 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories Bahrain, human rights, CTF150

Day 24: Bahrain

We arrived in Bahrain today.  This is my third country and my fourth currency (Emirati Dirham, Euros on the ISAF base in Kabul, US dollars on the multinational base in Tarin Kot and Bahraini Dinar) - I think it’s time for the Arab equivalent of the Euro.

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Thursday 3 April 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories Afghanistan, education, Dubai, souk

Day 23: 1971

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Wednesday 2 April 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories uniforms, Afghanistan, tattooes, 7RAR, scarification

Day 22: Uniform(ity)

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Tuesday 1 April 2014 by John Holloway. No comments.
Education at the Memorial, News

Thank you to everyone who submitted their guess for this week. As promised, here is the answer:

It is a button hook – a popular and necessary item between the 1890s and 1920s, used to pull buttons through buttonholes. They were particularly useful when the garment or footwear was tough and unyielding. 

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Monday 31 March 2014 by Alison Wishart. No comments.
Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories Hercules C130, Kabul, Kandahar, AMAB, Easter

Day 21: up, up and away

Today we said goodbye to the magnificent mountains of Kabul and flew back to AMAB (Al Minhad Air Base). We were supposed to be going to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, but the flight was cancelled.  I was a bit disappointed not to visit Kandahar, once the capital of Afghanistan and now the second largest city, but not much.  If you’ve seen Ben Quilty’s painting of Kandahar, you’ll know why.

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