Apparently, the Hadji Market's official name is "Blackhawk Trading Post." Or maybe that is the name of a market that preceded the Hadji. I don't really know.
All you have to do is flip on the TV or pick up a newspaper to know that Iraq is in a serious state of unrest. Things were really bad after the mosque bombing in Samarra, and yesterday was especially saddening for our Iraqi advisors whose family and friends live out in the "ville", but today things seemed to be going better in Iraq.
My guess is that some of you are wondering how all of this is affecting us here. Well, honestly, we can't detect any differences just by walking around, other than maybe more booms (booms are normal for us, and we tend to ignore them) and what is a real or imaginary increase in low-flying helicopters (also not out of the ordinary). We are quite isolated here, really, so my point is that nobody should worry about those of us inside the wire here. I don't want to trivialize things, since there's nothing trivial about the situation in Iraq, but since I am restricted from talking about anything of substance...
There are subtle little differences that I can notice, but nothing huge. Probably the biggest and most obvious difference is that the Hadji market, the bizarre, and the "Barn" are closed because of the curfews, and we can't get newspaper deliveries and the like. We were heading to the Hadji mart yesterday when we were told most of the vendors couldn't make it in.
Anyway, that's all I have to say about that. Things are fine here. The boss is out for another week, and Jd returns very soon. And I just realized we've been here four months. We're about halfway through our contract here. Huh. Cool. I guess we should start thinking about a half-way party.