Well, that’s pretty much endex for Day One. Our last activity was all about getting more ‘facetime’ with Afghan local nationals and using interpreters – or ‘Terps’.
Terps are new to me and I have a new found respect for them. The ones we have here with us are members of the British military who are just about to graduate from the Defence Languages School as qualified speakers of Pashtu.
Their work level is absolutely incredible and they are not only speaking and listening in another language, they are also dealing with the different dialects and accents of the Afghans who have been brought in to act as locals. As they translate, they are also learning new words and ways of speaking, which can only help once they get to theatre.
The best thing is that these guys we are working with will be coming out to the same places as us when we go to theatre, so we are already building up relationships with people we’ll be working with in the future.
Anyway, we are fed and watered after the days activities and are briefed ready for what we are doing in the morning. The more organised teams have already written up our reports from what we did today, so with not a lot else to do, people are already retiring to their ‘slugs’ – their sleeping bags – reading, playing a game on their PSPs or else watching a film on their iPods. The very bravest have already retired to bed to sleep.
So it only leaves one real question. Just HOW cold will it get in here tonight?
PS. We’ve just found out that this building was where the first series of Scrapheap Challenge was filmed. I am desperately trying to think of something to say about that, but to be honest, it’s already too bloody cold and my sleeping bag is calling me…