Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Curling Detour: Afghanistan

Yes, we're in Chilliwack B.C., but a quick jaunt across an ocean – and a rather notorious Gulf – to share greetings from ace curling scribe Bill "Gravy" Graveland (photo), of the Canadian Press.

Yes, he is in the Middle East – probably embedded with Canadian Forces – but we're really not sure. We do know this is a brief tour of duty for him, before he returns to the familiarity of curling ice.

Bill reports...

Dear The Curling News:

Sorry I didn't get in touch with you sooner but it's been crazy this past week... or is it two now?

First of all, there is no curling rink here. I know that will come as a shock to you but, on a positive note, there is a Tim Hortons... and a hockey rink... but alas no ice, and certainly no rocks. It might have something to do with the fact we're in a desert here in Kandahar, but word is the engineers are going to try and come up with ice for the hockey rink once winter fully hits... and after that curling ice is just a stone's throw away (intentionally bad pun). I am still expecting Shorty Jenkins to show up at any time!

The strangest thing about being here in Afghanistan so far is it hasn't stopped raining. It rains four times a day – big storms – with thunder and lightning. Tents are washing away and there have been floods all over the country with dozens of people killed.

For the first time in my life my luggage was lost on the way over here, and it finally showed up a week later. It's amazing how nasty a week in the same clothes can be!

Re. photo: the helmet and flak jacket are very uncomfortable, and excuse the whiskers. My fixer (interpreter and driver) insists that I have to grow a beard and wear local clothing when
I go into town. I'm sure it will make me look a lot like a local – LOL!

Take care and I will send you another photo if the beard comes in any better... and in my new Afghani clothing.


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