Jeff and I landed at the Manas International Airport around 23:30pm (11:30pm here, 12:30pm CTZ) and were then bussed to the Manas Transit Center. It was an eerie feeling arriving at the foreign base in the pitch black of night. That feeling was further complemented by the Soviet style, barbed-wire adorned, security walls surrounding the facility. We de-boarded the bus, received a briefing and rounded up our gear...which there happens to be quite a bit of...more stuff than 2 people can handle alone. Thankfully we've befriended a Sgt named Castillo, who is the only other person from Ft Campbell heading to Bagram. He's been gracious enough to help us with our gear and more importantly is trying to expedite our departure from Manas to Bagram. First indications were that our earliest exit would be 72 hours. But Sgt. Castillo, freshly released from Walter Reed Hospital for treatment of 6 bullet wounds, is anxious and determined to reconnect with his platoon and depart within 24 hours. Our camera gear is on lock down and no real official operations happen at the Transit Center, so hopefully we can catch a flight soon.
The non-stop travel, intermittent napping, time disparity, switch to military time, and the different sunrise and sunset hours have left me thoroughly confused and dissoriented. My wrist watch is now set to my home time (CTZ) and my phone, after struggling to find out what time zone we're in now, is set to military time. I'm hoping that clears up some of my mind and body's confusion. Despite feeling like I've been constantly sleeping to pass the plane and bus trips, I slept relatively well last night on a real mattress. Jeff and I went to bed around 1am and woke up at 5:45am. While stepping out of the barracks this morning we were pleasently surprised to find the sun up and a beautiful mountain range off in the distance, behind the barbed wire walls. We have power to charge our electronics and wifi to communicate, so this will be a fine place to regain our composure, get accustomed to the new hours, and hopefully depart to Bagram with Sgt. Castillo soon.