Baghdad’s spring fever

It’s spring in Baghdad! Everybody is out and about trying to enjoy the mild 100 degree whether before it gets too hot out.

…yeah. Seriously, 100 degrees in March? Get me out please.

Aside from the blazing sun, it was a fun day. A coworker invited me to take pictures of the first formal lacrosse match on the newly installed field. Player-of-honor was the ambassador.

…yeah. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq (in the front, with the black helmet and diplomatic demeanor) is apparently an avid lacrosse player, who knew?

It was a bit surreal. Tables were set up with bottles of sparkling grape juice, a DJ was playing Ricky Martin, Neil Diamond (“Sweet Caroline”) and various disco hits. Good sports match music, don’t you think? The team’s name is the Baghdad Rhinos, which made me giggle, because “rhinos” are what the military calls a heavily armored bus. I would think a good lacrosse team name would evoke something more graceful than a big bus. Then again, I’m not a lacrosse player.

After a crushing victory for the white-shirted Rhinos (97-3 over the red team), there was a soccer match against “The Peruvians” (named for the majority demographic of the security guards) and “The C-RAMs.” Who thought of these names?

Other than the massive display of athletics, other Embassy folk broke out their guitars and held jam sessions anywhere and everywhere. Who knew there were so many John Mayer-wannabes in Iraq?

The heat could be short-lived, we’re supposed to drop back down into double-digits later in a few days. And just in time! If all goes according to plan with exit visas (a ridiculous idea, why would Iraq want to keep me here?) I should be packing up and kissing this sandbox goodbye in exactly one week. And if I’m lucky, maybe I can snap a candid of General Odierno before I leave. Rocking out on an acoustic guitar, perhaps? I could only imagine.