Allan Cram had his assignment in Afghanistan: “to overfly some of the most perilous terrain in the world, where kidnap victims had little hope of being released alive, where Taliban extremists believed math should be taught to Afghan boys not by the adding or subtracting of apples and oranges, but by counting bullets and AK-47s.”
While cleaning out his garage a son finds his father’s obituary, which takes him back to the tragic circumstances of his dad’s death and stirs up the past.
Helicopter pilot Allan Cram was used to flying in dangerous places, even war zones. But Afghanistan’s Kajaki Dam was considered by even seasoned military people to be, at that time, “the most dangerous place on earth”. Why would a sane pilot willingly fly there?
Working oversees as a helicopter pilot, Allan Cram has lived in some of the world’s most dangerous places, including Afghanistan and Sudan. But as he discovers, most people are just “working stiffs” like him, trying to put food on the table.
My life is full of contradictions, or what I call my bi-polar activity. Not that I have some clinically diagnosed chemical imbalance in my aging grey matter; rather, unlike most of my friends whose work and home life are often inter-related, mine is completely disparate.
Does the Western world really get the truth about what is happening in far-flung countries? Do reporters overseas see the real picture – the big picture? These issues are explored in second installment of My Private Sudan from writer and helicopter pilot Allan Cram in which his recollections of Sudan differ dramatically from reports in some Western newspapers.
In the wake of the Haiti earthquake, Allan Cram remembers his time in the lively, noisy, fascinating Petionville Market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
A helicopter pilot working in Sudan argues the scorched earth policy Western media attributed to an oil company should have been called fiction, not fact.
Welcome to Afghanistan! Nothing is easy here, especially for a bunch of civilian pilots and engineers who didn’t — and still don’t at times — understand the military way.
At 21:45 the loudspeakers crackled and announced “Attention on the FOB, Incoming. Take Cover. That is all.” I laugh every time I hear those last words because it reminds me of the absurdity depicted in the TV comedy “M*A*S*H*.”