Today, we first drove to Sharana and then on to Mata Khan, a much smaller combat outpost than Sar Howsa. I had fun listening to Frank Sinatra, Black Sabbath and some country tunes on our way over via an iPod connected to the intercom.
Mata Khan is home to the 1st Platoon of Captain Perkins Apache Company 2-28. The country side surrounding it is completely flat, unlike the Sar Howza region. Although it’s only about 15 to 20 kilometers away, the climate feels different too. It’s much warmer, at least 15 degrees Celsius more.
There’s much more arable land here. We drove past some really impressive castle like Qalats, big square compounds with high mud walls and small turrets on each corner. I guess they reflect the mentality of the people living in this region. Everybody who is wealthy enough protects their fortunes out of sight. Their home really is their castle here.
It might be a testament to the fact that there is no centralised authority, called the nation state that has vowed to protect private property and enforce sanctions against people who don’t respect that right. By now there are such institutions in place in Afghanistan, but they are young and not welcome by everyone. The province of Paktika is known for being stubbornly anti-government.