30 July 2009

Your Moment of Sisyphus

It takes a Herculean effort to clean out the sand and dust after the all-too-frequent dust storms. Particularly during the summer, large sand storms (called "haboobs") sling dust into buildings through every imaginable nook and cranny. You can taste the sand in the air as the innards of even the most robust building fill with a haze so thick that it often sets off the smoke detectors.

Through it all, Soldiers sweep the dust, only to have it pile back up again, much like Sisyphus' eternal task of pushing a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down again. I encountered a Soldier the other day who was sweeping the corridor outside a building during the middle of a storm so thick, you could hardly see a hundred meters in front of you. I knew that he'd be back outside again in an hour to sweep again, as the sand was so thick.

"That job sucks", I consoled him,

"Cheer up, though. Soon you'll be back home in Upstate New York, where you'll be shoveling snow...as the snow is still coming down. But at least it's home."

I really need to work on my motivational speaking.


El Goyito said...

Yeah we have our version of "haboobs" here too. It's amazing how the sand gets in the house even with all the windows closed - I had sand in the pockets of my dress shirts hanging in the closet!

Anonymous said...


What do you think?