Sunday, March 11, 2007

Are we there yet?

The training here at Ft. Riley is still very good and is definitely necessary. However, I feel like I am on a long car ride, similar to one I took as a child where 8 of us crammed into a minivan and drove to Disneyworld. In the beginning, your grandma peeing into a cup every 20 minutes is funny; by the middle of the trip you start to get sick and beg to be let out of the car so you can walk the rest of the way. That’s pretty much how I feel now.

This past week we had qualification ranges on our rifle's and our 9mm's, and at the end of the week we had a 3-day briefing on cultural awareness. The ranges were fun (albeit long since we had to night fire as well) and it was cool using the scopes on my rifle for the first time. I basically feel like I cant miss with that little red dot!

Cultural awareness was interesting but being in a conference room for 8-9 hours a day wasn’t. The concept is great though. Since our mission in Iraq is training their Soldiers, it would be fairly ignorant of us to try and train them without being aware of the culture. We learned alot and the sessions were interactive, and most of us agreed that it will be very helpful to know. I wont go into alot of it now (plus some of the material was classified), but once I get in country I plan on writing about the differences and similarities I observe between our cultures.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once you get in country, develop your relationship
with your interpreter/translator. They will probably
have worked with many Americans before and for them
it will be Groundhog Day working with the new American.

Don't rush into the relationship, but good leading
questions include "Can you explain how in your culture
this works...." Be humble, speak softly and many will
welcome the opportunity to explain almost anything to
you. Most importantly, don't put them in an awkward
position and embarrass them (they don't have much
except their honor so don't shame them).

Also I don't know where they warehouse so many things,
but if you find yourself short on printer cartridges or
anything your 4-shop can not provide, these interpreters
can find it for a fair price.