It’s not easy finding info on KFOR. We are getting ready to come sometime in ‘08 maybe you could post some do’s and dont’s, living situation, etc… We would appreciate it greatly. (from Al who posted a comment here)
When I started this blog, my sole goal was to chronicle my experiences as a deployed Soldier in Kosovo. I had grand ideas of how I would write about interesting training events, the places my training took me, and about the joy and wonder of Kosovo. Not surprisingly, that didn’t happen. This blog turned into much more than that, for better or for worse. I use this space not only to talk about what it’s like to be deployed, but also to house my 101 in 1001 challenge, to talk about my wide range of emotions, to release stress, thoughts and randomness.
I already find myself regretting not writing down certain events, and I fear that when this deployment is all over (did I mention less than 80 days yet?) and I’m back home, the memories of what this place was like will quickly leave me. So, for that reason and for the requests of future KFOR rotations, I’m gonna talk about Kosovo today, specifically, the living situation, which, honestly, is pretty fabulous. [see here for more]
First of all, we live in SEA (Southeast Asia) Huts. They look like the building featured in this picture:
Trust me when I say these are not that bad, and they are definitely a big step up from the open bay living situation that I survived during training and the mobilization process at both Camp Atterbury, Indiana, and Hohenfels, Germany.
Each SEA Hut has five rooms and a centrally located, communal latrine in the middle of the building. Each room houses, usually, four Soldiers. Yes, you have to walk outside to get to the bathroom, but you don’t have to leave your porch. In Germany, we had to go outside and cross the street to get to the bathroom, all during a very cold November.
If there’s anything I’ve learned on this deployment about the nature of Soldiers, it is that we are creative and crafty by nature, especially when it comes to our living situations. I’ve been supremely impressed with the living arrangements Soldiers have made for themselves out of a few wall lockers, their beds and some scrap plywood that they somehow mold into furniture. My area is not that creative, but just to give you an idea, if you looked at from above, it would look a little like this:
Of course, looking at that doodle, please keep in mind that it is not drawn to scale, at all, and that my area, if viewed from the wall lockers, actually looks like the complete and total mess pictured here:
Being the lover of lists that I am, here’s a list of things that I may or not have been told before arriving in Kosovo that are, in fact, true:
- Each room really does have a refrigerator in it. That means I can keep things like water and three-week-old watermelons cold.
- We have internet access in our rooms (for a price).
- We have cable TV in our rooms, although we only have 12 channels. Come to find out, that’s really all the channels I need.
- The communal bathrooms are not cleaned by the community, but are instead cleaned by hired local nationals. That does not, however give anyone license to be a complete slob (you know who you are).
- Most laptops can actually survive just fine in Europe with the 220-voltage electricity, however, many hair straighteners cannot.
- Sitting on your porch and reading is a nice way to spend the end of a long day.
- We get a bed, and two wall lockers to put our stuff in. Two wall lockers seemed like a lot of space at first, but trust me, it’s not.