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Justin M. Stoddard

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Dispatches From Afghanistan #9
September 20, 2009 — 7:36 am

Subject: In Lieu Of…

Hi, all!
A number of you have asked me if I’d like some care packages while I’m over here. I can’t tell you what it means to me to be remembered and in all of your thoughts. I sincerely thank you.

The truth is, there’s not a lot I really need. We have a PX here and there is more than enough food. But, if you’ll stick with me for a moment, I have a proposal for you all.

On the campus where I work is a run down child-care center. At any given time, there are about 20 children there ranging from infants to 6 or 7 year-olds. Though the place is well run with a dedicated and loving staff, they don’t have even the basic necessities needed to run the place.

So, in lieu of any care packages for myself, I would like to solicit donations for this child care center. I have an appointment with the staff on Wednesday to find out what kind of things they need, but I suspect basic school supplies would be a huge part of it (crayons, paper, paint, scissors, markers, etc…). I suspect that clothing may also be needed, but I’ll find that out on Wednesday.

And, if you’d like to throw in a Snickers bar or two for me, well, that would be just swell. :)

A couple of you have also asked what, exactly, I’m doing out here. Well, I am a mentor to the people at the Afghanistan Geodesy and Cartography Head Office, which is the mapping agency for all of Afghanistan. Some of the projects I’m involved in are Geodetic Sciences, Gravitational Metering, Grids and Projections, Map Production, Training on how to use GIS software such as ARC and ERDAS, deciphering Survey Data, etc… I know, it all sounds dull and boring, but it’s an extremely rewarding job and I’m thankful for the opportunity to come out here in order to offer a bit of stability to an otherwise torn country.

Well, that’s about it, for now. Please let me know if you’d like to donate to the child care center here. It would mean a lot to me.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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