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Trails Around a Featureless Camp in a Featureless Desert

The dates of these posts are out of order.  I didn't have Internet.  I could not take pictures of the buildings in camp or the running trails, but imagine a parking lot paved with crushed stone surrounding a maintenance facility and you got it.

Below is the hall outside my quarters.  This is how it looks day or night. I am on the second floor.

stacked cans in Doha, Qatar 

Yesterday and today I ran around the trail that follows the perimeter of the camp. It is five kilometers long.  (Although I doubt the veracity of that claim since it is obviously taking me too long to run around it). The surface is good for running and the terrain is phenomenally flat. It is not a hard run, but it is boring. You can only tell how far you have come by looking at your watch. I suppose after a while I will notice differences.  Maybe not, since I am running at night. Actually not night, but it gets dark at around 5pm. The trail is well lit, so there is no unusual falling hazard or chance of smacking into stationary objects. 

The full moon was out today, which made the run more pleasant, as far as it is possible. It gets warm during the day, but is nice and cool in the evening. The weather has been great. If the place was more interesting, it would be really nice. Compared with this place, however, Al Asad is paradise. Well, maybe not paradise but much nicer.  

Below is my room.

John Matel quarters in Qatar

My discomfort is exacerbated by the jailhouse conditions of the cans. We are in a warehouse stacked on top of each other, literally. There is no connection to the outside and the window has the perpetual dull glow of artificial light. You cannot tell the nighttime from the day w/o looking at your watch. I like to be able to see the natural light.  I saw a Sci-Fi movie with Sean Connery. I think it was called “Outland” about a mining colony on Io, one of the moons of Jupiter. It is that kind of place.


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