After a flat tire, snow, and alarms going off in the airport terminal, I finally boarded the plane! Who knew making a simple flight to Atlanta could get so interesting?
After arriving in Atlanta, I met the rest of the Afghanistan team at baggage claim. There are four of us on Team 29 headed to the Red Cross station on Bagram Air Field. We also met up with one member of the Kuwait team and made our way to the shuttle. We managed to fit all our bags in the back of the van and were on our way to Columbus.
For the first 3 nights, we stayed in a hotel and went over all the Red Cross briefings . They included information on our destinations, orders, operations, casework, medical, ICRC, and of course travel. We also received the Red Cross gear we’ll be bringing with us.
While we weren’t in briefings we got to know each other. We ate our meals together and explored the area. At lunch one afternoon, the woman who owned the restaurant told us how Red Cross was so helpful when they had a home fire and her family was displaced. Stories like hers are proof that it really is a small Red Cross world.
After we completed all the Red Cross briefings we made our way to Ft. Benning to process through the CRC (CONUS Replacement Center). We arrived early and signed in. At the reception center they handed us each a set of sheets, pillow, and blanket and directed us to the appropriate barracks.
The barracks remind me very much of a camp setup. 2 sets of bunk beds to a room and wall lockers for our bags.
I’ve been assured that the next section of our adventure will include busy days of briefings and equipment issue with the military. More on that later…