Eventually everyone's time to go home comes and ours finally did. At last, we're on our way out...but it's tough to get too excited about it when the process is going to take up to two weeks. We turned things over to the new team, and they'll begin going through all the things we went through. With the ANA you have to wonder if they purposely hit the rewind button when a new team arrives. By that I mean, the suspicion exists that the ANA play down their abilities for new ETTs in the hopes that the new guys will coddle them and not demand as much of them as they are capable of giving; let the new guys think you're incapable and maybe they won't ask much of you; show how pathetic and helpless you are and maybe they'll buy and give you more stuff. I won't personally say I saw much of that type of behavior, but I did hear of it from others and it would fit right in with what I know about the ANA."Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler." - attributed to Einstein
At any rate, the new team will do just fine. They'll find their own way, which will be different from ours in some respects. As for the ANA, I'll miss some of them, no question. They do have some very good people. I'll miss my terps more though. It was hard not to feel like we were abandoning the terps as we said our goodbyes. Afghanistan is their country though, so can't feel too sorry for them that they have to stay. Afghanistan needs bright young men like our interpreters (who tend to see things more our way than the ANA ever did) to help reshape the country.
For now, we'll sit at Bagram and wait for a flight. The time waiting will be primarily spent sleeping, eating, weightlifting, and card-playing. We've already been here several days and we've no firm word on when we'll actually leave. Hopefully we'll be back in Hawaii in a week or so.