Now that my life has become rather routine, I've added some new things to it. Last Thursday, on my 1/2 day off, I played Rugby for the first time ever. It was way too much fun. Let me describe what playing Rugby here at Camp Victory is like:

First, as we arrived at the medivac pad, a few cars were lined up. They were waiting for the helicopters to arrive. The few stragglers who showed up early to play sat down on the side, and wait for it all to be over. In the 110+ heat, we watched as four blackhawks landed. Just before each one landed, all the dust and hot wind blew at us, nearly knocking us over (even though we were sitting). The gusts were hot, dry, and stinging. Several people jumped out and walked quickly to the cars parked next to the hel0pad. Within in a few minutes, the blackhawks lifted up again and flew directly over us. I tried taking a picture, but the wind blew the lanyard on my camera in the way, so all I got a picture of was my hand, the lanyard, and part of a helicopter directly above. Once they were all gone, the one Australian stood up and said, "Alright then," and everyone followed. They explained the rules to me, which were deceivingly simple, and we began. I never knew that in Rugby you threw the ball backwards. Anyhow, it was a great work-out. Mostly I just ran back and forth. It's much quicker than American Football, and I have to say, much more interesting. We played until we couldn't see the ball anymore (it got dark quickly). The Australian who had taught me how to play said, "you did bloody well for your first game." I decided then I'd come back. :) I hurried back home to shower.

Once I got ready to take a shower, I was dismayed to find out there wasn't any water. I was ready to slice whoever had let the water run out. I then walked down to the other shower-trailer and got all ready once again to find out the water was out. I had gotten into the habit of showering at night so that I wouldn't have to put my hair up wet in the morning, and this frustrated me. I didn't mind too much, though, because playing a team sport had been so much fun. Oh, I forgot to say it was just touch rugby. I can't imagine playing regular rugby on the tarmac.

I was sore over my entire body for two days. I felt great. Yesterday, they played again. I worked it out with my boss to let me play rugby during my dinner time. My hours had been shifted back to 0800-2000, so at 1815 I rode my bike home quickly and changed, then played until 1920, then went back to my trailer, changed back into my uniform (I was out of breath and very hot by then), and rode back to work as quickly as I could. I worked until 2030, then went home and finally got my shower. At least this time the water was working. I had a great time though, and the same Australian, who's more or less the referee, said, "are you sure the last time was the first time you had ever played?" I said yes. Then he said, "you'll be here on Thursday then?" If they keep making me feel like a prodigy, I'll be playing rugby twice a week until I leave! I'm not that good at all, for sure. I just have a great time. Next time, though, I'll make sure I get a sandwich. I was starving by breakfast time!

Today is Labor Day. I get to serve my country all day at work. Wow. Usually I do something interesting on Labor Day weekend. Not this year!

~ amber

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