Who wants ice cream?

23/06/2019 Posted by admin

Walking back from the American mess hall on the base, after eating a fairly heavy lunch of chicken and mashed potatoes, I was confronted by a very odd scene. 

Just a few steps from my sleeping tent an ice cream truck had pulled up. Yes, the same kind of ice cream truck that would greet hordes of excited kids on a hot summer day. The same kind of ice cream truck that serves favourites like rocket popsicles, that drip down your hands in blue and red rivers of food colouring or scoops of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

Even though it seemed out of place on the grounds of a military base in the middle of Afghanistan, care had been taken to make sure it wasn’t too out of place. Like any of the other military vehicles that are painted in the color of sand at Kandahar Airfield (KAF), it was fully decked out in camouflage displaying the words “mind the troops.”

Courtesy of the British, this ice cream truck provides a cool respite from the relentless heat to those living at KAF.

 

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While ice cream trucks in a war zone are not a normal occurrence, its presence here shows that despite KAF being a staging ground for troops engaged in battle, there is a sense that life here can’t only be about the war. 

Deployments can be anywhere from six months to more than a year, and that’s why maybe an ice cream truck isn’t so out of place after all.

Melanie is Global National’s research supervisor, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @emmyjd2.

 

 

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