Archive for the ‘Super Secret Project’ Category

SSP6 (and some feedback)

July 3, 2011

I think it was the NY Times that described June as having had the greatest number of US Forces killed in Iraq in a while — a couple of years or something.

So, yeah — June has been a tough month.  We fight for king and country, but we also fight for those to our left and to our right.

Buuuuut, I do have to say — bundles have been flowing into AF.  I should see if I can call the AF crew tomorrow, for a check — there are few benefits to being in Iraq, but free calls to Afghanistan is one of them.

I did get some feedback from the folks on the ground in Afghanistan.  “Please send bling” was one of their requests.  Actually, the quote was “If available, they suggest sending some bling-bling to fasten to the clothing. The ladies enjoy decorating their clothes with mirrored items, fake stones and sequence.”

I think that’s certainly reasonable.

I also think this should be a bit inspiring:

Other feedback included great cheering over the inclusion of thread and needles “and things,” though I’m a bit unsure what that means.  Perhaps pastries.  “Threads are good, sheer-type fabric is good for head scarves and things, patterns fabrics are good, even velvet-type fabrics are really popular here (even in the summer heat!)  Needles for hand-embroidery, pins, sewing machine needles, and trim (beads, lace, thin ribbons) and bolts of fabric big enough to make a standard shalwar chemise would be great, too.”

More Female Engagement Team news, here.  Very neat article, here.  And a neat video, here.

And last, but certainly not least, if you’re looking for a little something else to do, it’s time for Super Secret Project 6.  Leave me a comment if you need the bundles address, or if you want more details on the SSP6.  It’s gonna be fun.

You can’t rain on my parade

June 23, 2011

I am going to be unstoppable today.

1.  I got up a weeeee bit early today and went for a run.  I’d intended to run last night, but it was still cook-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk hot at 2100 / 9pm, and that wasn’t going to work (as compared to 0400 / 4am today, when it was in the high eighties Fahrenheit / around 30 degrees Celsius).  A quick six mile run through the quiet of pre-sunrise, and I had restored my balance in life.

2.  There’s an airborne operation that’s suppose to kick off today.  Our good friends in Afghanistan — are you ready for this? — are planning to drop a bundle of bundles out of a perfectly good airplane sometime today.  The world has come full circle — my dad use to say that he lived vicariously through me, and now I’m living vicariously through bundles of fabric.  Who knew.

3.  July is almost here.  Keep putting those bundles in the mail — we’re looking to surge sewing, knitting, and quilting goodies to Afghanistan through July, so there’s still plenty of time.  (Leave a comment below if you need the address).

4.  With July, I promise, will come the start of the next Super Secret Project.

5.  I’ve had a special request for a specific little bit of help, from one specific team out in one specific far corner of Afghanistan.  Is that specific enough for you?  I’m looking for just a couple of people — maybe 5 at most — willing to put together some super heavy bundles.  There are a few kids in Afghanistan, apparently, who like to draw and color and doodle.  Let me know if you’re in — there’s a special address and everything.  Operation Noodle Doodle, I think it should be called.

So, go have a good day.  Go be unstoppable (just don’t get all riled up and invade another country or something).

Say hello to Lita

June 19, 2011

You’re going to want to swing by here and take a read of what Lita said in an awesome comment.

I also received a few SSP5 Operation BBD packages. These donations will be sent to a refugee camp in Kunar Province. The refugee camp has been there for many years and the hundreds of refugee children adore receiving the small tokens of friendship.

Thank you, Lita — so very nice to hear from you, and thank you for such nice words.

Sunday morning update

June 19, 2011

So, it’s been a busy week.

Bundles are arriving in Afghanistan, and the crew there is building the first shipments for onward movement.  And the more Super Secret Bundles have arrived, too.  It’s been a busy, busy week.

Buuuut, I got some photos in the mail.  And some awesome, awesome notes of encouragement.

So, back to a quiet Fathers Day. I’m watching a horrible movie, and doing some research on manual / hand-crank sewing machines.  Really — that’s how I spent Sunday mornings in Iraq.  And yes, my own dad would agree with both my choice of actions and even my movie selection.

Some photos

June 15, 2011

If you’re looking for the address for IBOL / ABOL, just leave a comment anywhere here on the blog, and I’ll email you.

I’d telly u that I’ll email you in the next 60 seconds, but actually, sometimes it takes a day or two (sorry — sad, but it’s true).

And now, the important stuff.  After a long day at the office (15 hours), little beats turning on the email and finding stuff like this.

The owl, by the way, is the COOLEST of them all.

Two new ideas

June 12, 2011

OK, maybe not new.

I ran across these two articles (here, here).  I figured I’d ask — what are your thoughts on this>

School supplies would easy.  But support to Afghan women who make jewelry?

And yes, I actually had a query from Afghanistan about supplies for the Kuchi women who make this style of jewelry.

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

May 31, 2011

Let me put this bluntly — my poor in box is taking a beating this week!

Thanks to all of you for leaving a comment, and sharing some great emails, and passing along such kind works of inspiration.  It’s nice to know that there are more than a couple of people out there willing to help.  I do appreciate it.

And SSP5 seems to have some takers.  I’ll be most curious to see how this one turns out.  I like Super Secret Projects — they are a fun distraction.

And before I close up shop for the night, here‘s a short article some of you might enjoy.  Nice, nice story.

Super Secret Project 5

May 30, 2011

Let’s not mess around this time. IBOL –> ABOL kicked off yesterday, and it’s already time for a SSP!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am looking for a few volunteers to help with Super Secret Project 5, Operation BBD.

  • No, I am not going to tell you what Operation BBD stands for.
  • Yes, the BBD part is important — and it’s a secret.
  • I am hoping to find a platoon of folks ready, willing and able to help with this most super, most secret side project.
  • It’ll be fun.  It won’t involve angry ferrets.
  • Target audience is folks whose kids are a little bit older now, but who still have too much of their old stuff laying around.  There’s a certain kind of something in demand in Afghanistan, and this Super Secret Project is to try to do something about that.

Sound mysterious?  It should.

Interested?  Leave me a comment or shoot me an email and I’ll send to you all of the Super Secret Details.  (insert maniacal laugh soundtrack).

Super Secret Project 4

April 28, 2011

Hiya, everybody.  So, here we are, coming down to the wire for getting bundles into the mail for Fallujah.  End of the week, if you can — getting things in the mail by the end of April means stuff should make it out to the far reaches of the world, or Fallujah, by mid to late May.  So, there’s still time if you’re putting the final touches on something or are just really, really quick about it.

And if you’re not super quick, and you’d find yourself missing that deadline?  Fear not.  I’m closing up the details for the next go around.  We’re take a small pause with the ending this month, catch our breath and, for me, sleep a little bit, and then kick off the next surge.  Will it be good?  Nope — it’ll be awesome.  Stick around, check in from time to time, or, if you’re brave, there’s an email subscription option over there on the right side of the page — you’ll get updates to the blog right there in your email in box.  Think of it like the flood of AOL CD’s you use to get in the mail, just not annoying or bad for the environment.

So, we have one last thing to talk about.  SSP4.  Time to be straight about it.

Super Secret Project 4 has been about babies.

Really.  Babies.  Yes, the hard-core killer Army guy behind IBOL has a soft spot for babies.

Who: The SSP4 Platoon
What:  Receiving blankets
When:  Now through the end of April
Where:  Kurdish region and Kirkuk to start, for onward usage across Iraq
Why:  Because helping babies is pretty awesome.  And by pretty awesome, I mean totally awesome.

Jessica from preemptivelove.org contacted me about IBOL a while ago, and pitched the idea of doing something together.  Preemptive Love operates out of northern Iraq, but they also do work in an Nasariyah, near my beloved marshes. It’s worth going to their site to read about what they do.  Anyway, they have access to different places, and different groups.  While IBOL3D has been about helping widows in places like Fallujah, SSP4 is about the little ones.

So, we came up with a plan.  With some recruited volunteers, folks have been sending their hand-made receiving blankets to Kirkuk, for onward movement to the Preemptive Love folks in Sulaymaniyah.  Jessica and crew will bring them along on their medical missions, and share them with families and new babies.  Which is pretty awesome, I think.

To all of you who helped with this, thank you.  These types of side projects are kinda fun.

And for all of you who helped out, by all mean, now is the time to come out of the woodwork and leave a comment about.  Share your stories, share your photos, tell tall tales if you must.  Because there are a lot of you, and a lot of neat stories that you’ve shared in emails about what you’ve done with this side project.

350?

April 13, 2011

I meant 400.  Apparently, counting is not my string suit.  That, or I can’t read my own handwriting.  The Baghdad 500 surge has brought it about 400 bundles.

And yes, Super Secret Project 4 is still underway.  Wonderful, awesome response from probably 50+ folks.

Oh, and for the record, I don’t think it’s cool for anyone to leave their alarm clock set, and to leave their room.  Some yahoo has had their alarm going off, unattended, for what I am guessing is a good long while.  I’m back in my room now, with enough time to blog this, get changed and go to sleep, but even old-deaf-IBOL-guy can hear the beeping coming from however far away it is.  Phooey.  Party foul.