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"We find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve. "
Maxwell Maltz, Communication Bulletin for Managers & Supervisors, June 2004

The highlight of my day was getting to eat local Afghan food. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will not get sick. I ate a kabob sandwich. It came wrapped in newspaper. The meat was spicy and delicious. The best part was the bread, otherwise known as naan. Naan is a very important part of Afghan meals. You see people carrying it in the streets and it being sold in shops throughout Kabul. It is absolutely delicious.

In today's post I thought that I would discuss what my community service project is in an attempt to encourage more people to submit theirs. A few days ago I thought to myself what a waste it was that we throw away so many Plastic Bottles and aluminum cans at Camp Phoenix. Most people over here drink about 5 bottles of water a day. I drink about 3 cans of soda. It all really adds up. Not to mention pollution is a really big problem in Kabul. I heard someone say, you can almost taste the air. As I have previously stated, instead of complaining about problems it is more productive to be part of the solution. So yesterday I was searching the internet trying and find a place that recycles aluminum cans and plastic bottles in Kabul. I had this idea that we could recycle the cans and plastic bottles then we could donate the profits to a local charity. While I was searching the web I came across this article.

Bagram Airfield is another FOB in Afghanistan. Coincidentally, they recently instituted a recycling Program. According to the article they were burning 35,000 plastic water bottles and 2,000 cans a day! This program not only recycles the bottles and cans which helps in reducing air pollution but, additionally, it also creates local jobs that help the economy. As an added bonus the government saves money because of the reduced trash load that the civilian contractor has to process. It is a win-win-win situation.

I contacted the person in charge of the program late last night. We must have sent 5 emails back and forth to each other in a 5 minute period. It turns out that the contractor that picks up the recyclables at Bagram is based out of Kabul. After I got back from our clinic visit today I visited a number of different offices proposing the idea. Everyone I spoke to was very positive. We will see how it goes. I do not want to be overly optimistic but I think that it may have a chance of being implemented. We will have to see. I will keep you posted.

This is an example of how you do not necessarily have to have a completed project to be considered for the Afghanistan Community Service Idol. You just have to have an idea that you are developing. Another important point that I have to mention is that my idea probably would have never have gotten off the ground if it was not for the Defend America news article. Just as important as doing the task is also advertising that you are doing it to raise awareness for your cause.

I am going to add a column to the right hand side of my blog that will be a link to all of the various articles on what 6 M.I.K. readers are doing. There may not be any right now but I am pretty confident that by the end of the month there will be a couple.

Also, just for fun, I will test out the voting box on the ACSI blog. Go ahead and give it try a try. I cast my vote already.

The next contestant to ACSI is a Veteran of Foreign Wars program called Operation Uplink. Operation Uplink is an innovative program launched in 1996 that provides free pre-paid phone cards to active duty military personnel and hospitalized veterans. Through the generous support of VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Posts and members, and caring citizens, VFW Operation Uplink has been able to distribute millions of prepaid phone cards. My entire team has been fortunate recipients of their 90 minute phone cards cards. One of the most important parts of my day is when I phone my family in the morning. It is the fuel that drives my engine during the day. You can not put a price on the gift that Operation Uplink provides. They are doing a great service on a very large scale. Here is a link to their website.

There is a VFW post very close to my home. I will have to visit them when I get back home and say thank you in person. I also hear that they serve cheap beer which will be an added bonus.
Thanks for reading.

This post first appeared on 6 Months In Kabul, please read the originial post: here

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