Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The unit I'm over here with officially took responsibility for the U.S. portion of the U.N. mission here this past weekend. There was quite a lot of pomp and circumstance involved in the actual Transfer of Authority (TOA). We had local bigwigs, Generals from various countries, the U.S. Ambassador, and quite a number of other important individuals in attendance.

The tremor in my hands, coupled with the inability of my tiny camera to gather much light in low-light situations means that I didn't get any good pictures inside the aircraft hangar where the ceremony took place.  The old unit's colors have been cased and our Brigade's colors are being uncased in the first photo.  I apologize for the poor quality!  ("Idiopathic benign essential tremor," indeed!  There's nothing benign about it, at times like that!)

I did get a couple of photos outside which will give you a sense of the geography of the place where I'm now living.  The mountain behind the big hangars is more than a mile high.  Macedonia is just beyond it.

In the foreground of the second photo one can see "the cans" -- the containerized housing units used on this Post -- where I lived for a couple of weeks after arriving here. I'm grateful to have moved into a place of my own in the last couple of days; sharing the cans with another guy -- very nice guy, to be sure -- was cramped to say the least.

It is no wonder I caught the 'kennel cough' going around here, after being around his hacking and coughing for the last fourteen days or so!

One of the local religious leaders attended, along with his secretary and the pastor of the Church of the Black Madonna.  My Brigade Chaplain and the Deputy Brigade Chaplain Assistant are pictured as well.

It was a beautiful day, after a week of rainy days.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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