INFIL : December 2006   (5 year vision thing)

Taj 1.0

Dave and Ken go to jalabad ISO a rotary club sister city project, between San Diego and Jalalabad.  Somehow, on another track – we get “invitational orders” from secdef, and a 3 month cac, which by the way was done in 1 day, the day of departure, never seen govt wheels turn that quick before – ever.   The cacs would be helpful to get us a hop into theater.  Turns out , it was more like, help get us IN (IN only, get yourself out).   Daves  focus appeared to be public health, stability ops, and almost anything else possible.  Guy was on fire.   We literally would run around town from 0800-1800 every day for the first 9 day trip. And for the first year, we were guests of the Kiwis @ a UN Guest house called the Taj.  One year later, Dr. Dave and I pulled in to the Taj one December night with a supply of the Capn, the UN team – Kiwis had left, but there was a retired marine infantry officer named Tim San, that had his own gig and scope of operations that could provide security and oversight for development work in Nangarhar – Over proper cocktails at the Tiki bar, we decided we would take it over and try to keep it alive.

My focus was mid level geekery.  Checking the computer lab, setting up the first WiFi @ taj, and making friends, building relationships and trust.   Specifically, I was meeting so many wired, high tech kids in interviews we held for a Rotary sponsored IT Manager position @ Nangarhar University. That led to the incubation of the Jalalabad Geek Squad.  The first two primary recipients of the Synergy Scholarship were two guys @ Nangarhar University, SM and RL.   SSF funded them @ $150. mo. for 18 months to help with School Books costs, and further education in certain networking technologies. That expanded to setting up GATR systems, installing a B4D.. Cisco/Motorolla Canopy WiMax rig, Node/Spoke Network.. assist in logistics to bringing in an MIT FABLAB via a grant from the National Science Foundation… and other incredibly fun stuff, in an incredibly dangerous place.

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