We hear the phrase "it's a small world" many times. My two trips to Iraq have definitely proven that to be true once again. Last year when I was here, I completely randomly ran into two friends from DC that I had no idea were here. One is in the Army the other the Marines. The Army friend was in the palace meeting with our COR (Contracting Office Representative) on an issue at the exact same time I went to meet with the COR and we were both totally surprised to run into each other. The Marine friend was sitting at the table two seats down from me at the chow hall when I thought I recognized his voice, looked over and we both again were totally surprised.
This year, I knew coming out that a friend was going to be here, Berkley. We go to Church together in DC and both went on mission trips last summer, me to Burundi and him to the Philippines. It was nice to have him here for fellowship and accountability. Unfortunately for me but fortunately for him, he left a couple of days ago to go home.
Then I'm at the palace on Saturday for a very cool event that I'll blog about when I get the picture from the Corp and I see a non-US/English/Aussie uniform. I always enjoy learning where they are from. They usually, but not always, have their country name on their uniform. However, for this one, all I needed to see was the flag on his left shoulder and immediately knew he was from Kazakhstan (for those who don't know, I went on a mission trip to Kstan summer of '05). As you can see with its baby blue color, it is a very easy flag to recognize. I wanted to talk to him a little, but he didn't speak much English. However, he lit up when I said we were in Almaty and Oralsk and said he was from Oralsk...small world =)