Blogs from Kosovo, Europe - page 4


Europe » Kosovo » East May 6th 2010

This could be a really exciting trip and I’m so excited that Dobie and Davina asked me to travel with them. We are going back to the United States! If you remember I’m from Hawaii so a trip to the mainland is a pretty big deal. I’ve only read about where we are going through previous blogs so now I get to experience the adventure myself. Our journey started at a crazy hour, I never dreamed I would have to get up at 0300 in the morning and to be honest I never want to do it again. Why does the army seem to think that we have to do everything so early? I suppose if there has been one thing I have learned from those two…It doesn’t help anything to complain. Seriously though, we ... read more
flying over majestic mountains
Coffee in Vienna
The hotel is WAY better than the army issued rooms!

Europe » Kosovo » Centre » Prishtina April 28th 2010

The trees There is something about the trees here. Something about the neon green phosphorescence of the Kosovan springtime. It looks unreal, twinkling in the dancing light like a dream. I sit drinking coffee with new friends, watching children play at a special fun village cut between the trees, complete with waterslides. In Kosovo, the whole country seems to come out on weekends to bask in the sunlight and play Frisbee. Various tidbits According to my friend Burim, people drink coffee here all day long. Forty percent are unemployed, so they just sit there drinking coffee, talking and admiring the ladyfolk. All the bars seem to be full all day, mostly by unemployed Muslim men who religiously avoid alcohol. There are casinos everywhere, all of which have photos of scantily clad women, lying on tables. Honestly, ... read more

Europe » Kosovo » East April 25th 2010

I haven’t been in the military for very long but I do know a few things. The Army never travels without a rather large stock pile of food. The Army never travels with a shortage of Colonels! (yup, we have over 40 Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels!)….And lastly, the Army never goes anywhere without a buttload of Attorneys. This is especially prevalent here in Kosovo! We have got the team of all teams here on the KFOR 12 staff, complete with Colonels, Specialists and a few Sergeants and Captains to boot. This team here not only provides legal advice, but they really have done quite a few interesting missions. From helping hundreds of soldiers with tax returns to writing a bunch of legal opinions for just about anything we attempt to do. Now legal opinions aren’t just ... read more
Our legal team with the Senior Prosecutor
The court room
My very own court room

Europe » Kosovo » East April 18th 2010

It’s days like today that can challenge the best of us. It has been rainy and drizzly all week. The clouds are so low that there are times that Camp Bondsteel is actually a part of the low lying clouds. Not unlike the Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately referred to by the acronym "S.A.D", here in Kosovo it feels like if only the weather could change we could be done with these feelings. In many instances we seem to be experiencing “winter depression”, and between the endless challenges with weather and just the normal tirades with a deployment, this can be challenging. This winter depression has grabbed ahold of me recently and I seem to be exhibiting all the normal symptoms to include: trying to over-sleep and having the overwhelming urge to "hibernate", serious cravings for carbohydrate ... read more

Europe » Kosovo » East April 14th 2010

Some days everything just seems so “Normal”. The weather has become so unpredictable that it is normal. More days than not I leave my room in the morning and the sun is shining and the day holds promise only to be changed on a whim as the clouds blow in over the mountains and suddenly it is raining and the afternoon turns into a raging storm. It’s normal to get up before the speakers play the morning rendition of revile. Heading out to the gym is not any easier than it was a few months ago. The state of the art gym equipment is always busy and I seem to always be tired. I must tell you that I never wanted it to be normal for me to spend so much time at the gym but ... read more
Cow on the move...
Friday morning laundry
Spring time homestead


Europe » Kosovo » East March 21st 2010

It isn’t everyday in Kosovo that I wake up, stumble out onto the deck and marvel at the beauty of my surroundings. It wasn’t just the perfect sight of Mount Duke, which appeared to be so close that I could reach out and touch it. It wasn’t that the temperature was 50 degrees at 10:00 in the morning which was so warm that I didn’t even put my jacket on. It wasn’t even the friendliness of the little orange kitten that was rubbing up against my leg begging for some attention. I think maybe I was having some serious spring fever symptoms! I didn’t have any inside wallowing thoughts about how much time we still had left to endure the Kosovo experience. Rather, I was all excited about what today might bring. It had indeed been ... read more
The flavor is in the smoke
Romanian's get together
Virgin Island cook out

Europe » Kosovo » East March 13th 2010

Our day started out with a simple little outing with Coconut so I could show her the sights of our local area here in Kosovo. We spent some fun times at the playground, drove through the small towns and spent some quality moments just chatting with the locals. She was just tickled about how peaceful everything was. The people in the villages would wave as we drove by, the children could be heard giggling and chasing after each other and again we stopped by for a little taste of Kosovo at a local restaurant. When we returned back to Camp Bondsteel there was a buzz amongst the soldiers and it was absolutely exciting news! Some Soldiers are going home early! I tracked Davina down and she explained the entire thing to us so that we would ... read more
Roadside Walmart
A friendly wave from old time locals
Notice the Kosovo, Albanian and US flags all flying together

Europe » Kosovo » East March 7th 2010

There I was, standing tall at mail call and it must have been my lucky day because the mail clerk called my name. “Dobie, you got you a small package, looks like it’s from Hawaii,” she hollered out. I was running fast trying to get to my very first package here in Kosovo. On the outside of the package there was a contents listing and it read “Coconut”. Now why in the world would anybody send me a coconut over here in the Balkans? I was so excited I ripped into it like it was Christmas all over again! Much to my surprise inside the box contained “Coconut”, not a coconut… Oh my gosh, was she ever cute! Her eyes were so big and round and she had this smile that was sweet and sincere. I ... read more
The Castle restaurant
Great ambiance
Our first meal together

Europe » Kosovo » East February 21st 2010

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t written for a while. Guess I just decided to take a little break, regroup and put things back into the correct perspective. I must be at that point in the deployment when you just get tired of playing the “deployment game.” No matter what activities you do, how exciting work is or how positive an attitude one keeps…There is a serious yearning to get back to what’s familiar. Back to the things that make you laugh. Back to the food that tastes “normal” or maybe you can just get in the car and go down to your favorite drive-thru and grab a burger. There is a feeling of boredom, never any excitement and the attitude is contagious. Everyone talks about going home. Everyone wants a day off where they ... read more
My buddy from home (the Governors Aide De Camp) and Dobie
Dobie gets his picture taken with the Governor!
The Governor hanging with the boys!

Europe » Kosovo » East February 13th 2010

The breeze was slight, just enough to gently push old glory away from the pole, and quietly the flag whispered a prayer to me as it hung proudly at half mast, one that I could barely hear. The closer I listened, the harder I looked. I looked for a truth, a reason, a closing, and then I saw the snow capped mountain top glistening through the clouds, the rays peaking down from the heavens, providing a breathe taking view of freedom. There I was, fighting the emotions from the sheer beauty of sunbeams and the poignant reality of being a soldier so far away from home. A timeless day and night spent mourning by many soldiers, and for others, simply providing support to the awesome responsibility of caring for a Fallen Soldier. As I entered my ... read more

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