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Monday, 28 February 2011

Yet another Short Duration Patrol

Today was kinda strange, in it's own little way. I was Patrol Leader again, heading down to an area I've been before... In fact, I was heading back to the very same patch of land where I had my first experience as Patrol Leader.

Things have changed a bit since the beginning of November, for starters we're in the dry season. Secondly, by now I got a bit more of a clue of what I'm doing as Patrol Leader - at least a little bit. Thirdly, I take a lot more pictures these days!

 For being the dry season, some parts are awfully lush - just proof that there is water nearby, either above or underground.
 The local carpenters needs wood to make all sort of things - according to our Language Assistant, these woods can be harvested every five to eight years. 
 More shady road.. the 'feel' of this part of our Area of Responsibility is quite different than the other parts, due to the woodland.
 Stuff sometimes breaks - this is the mounting bracket for the HF antenna on one of the cars we used today. Looks like a textbook case of metal fatigue in a welded seam... the crack probably started closest to the camera and slowly worked it's way back until the remaining weld couldn't hold the load.  
 Believe it or not, that is the road. Now imagine that churned into sloppy mud, and then trying to drive over it... I rather not, to be honest.
 Lake, cows and a patch of land that saw a fire a month or two ago. It's amazing how quickly nature regains a foothold after a fire down here.
 No idea what sort of plant it is, but it looks cool!
 Here and there in the area the bones of the earth sticks out in the form of naked bedrock. Combine that with aggressive hack and burn agriculture, and you get some fairly surreal moonscapes.
 Looking at this photo, it's hard to believe that it's less than 15 km - that's less than ten miles for our non-metric friends - away from the first photo in this post... the one that is so lush and green.

Off course the day isn't finished just because we've parked the cars after a SDP - life goes on, paperwork to be done, debriefs to be held and so on. And in the middle of that two of the BanBat soldiers came to the office carrying a box and greetings from their commander... Since it is almost time for BanBat to rotate contingents, they are clearing out their stores, and sometimes a little of that falls on the others in camp. Today each and everyone got a bag of... something.
This something in fact. It's dried sardines, and a bit of googling reveals that it's used in many dishes in the Far East. Among other things, this is the stuff you use as a base when making Japanese miso soup. The recipe I found most interesting was for tazukuri ... fried and glazed, these tiny little fishes turns into the Japanese answer to potato chips.

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