…Then again, maybe not…

by Kelly on January 1, 2011

So I had some wonderful pictures of Iraqi children enjoying the Christmas Party we threw for them- Christmas is big here (since we brought it at least), and is a very secular event, as the majority of the participants are Muslim.

So, envision: Lots of games, presents and “Papa Noel” arriving on an MRAP. The kids had a blast and we had a blast watching them have a blast. They love to have their pictures taken, and we were encouraged to do so, though cautioned against taking pictures of adults – unless we specifically asked them and were granted permission. Even then, we were not to post pics of any adults. Being seen with Americans can literally be life threatening here. Pretty sobering stuff.

As I thought about it, even though pics of kids are supposedly ok, I became concerned that someone with ill intent would recognize who those kids belonged to- so decided against posting any pictures of Iraqis at the party at all. Will keep those pics for myself on a disc- any show them to anyone who cares to visit me back in Northern VA. You can imagine them though- adorable kids, grinning ear to ear, screaming with excitement as Papa Noel rode in on an MRAP decorated with lights- Kids are kids everywhere. I hope this scouts program begins a lifelong friendship between us and them… small, but a start.

Here then, is one of the few all-American photos from that day: Renee, Kelly, and Libby on Papa Noel’s MRAP. Note Christmas lights adorning the vehicle.

Certainly an upgrade on Santa's old ride...

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