Above is the city of Hit looking over the Euphrates.
The town is pronounced HEAT with a little more emphasis on the ee. I don’t really have much to say about this trip that I can share on the blog, but I wanted to include some pictures from our foot patrol.
Above is the river scene. Very nice. The water is not 100% clean, so you are a little better off looking at the picture than experiencing the entire scene.
Hit was one of the last places in our AO where the insurgency was defeated, so the people are still adjusting to relative peace. People here just want to hold onto what they have and it looks like they will get to do that. We got a good reception as we walked through town. People were friendly. Little kids came to ask for candy. Bigger kids tried to speak to us in English. They could often say things like “What’s happening?” in a good English accent, but they usually could not actually understand responses.
I learned a little about local media. There really isn’t much of any except a few newsletters. Many people have satellite dishes. They are a status symbol and I was told that a lot of those satellite dishes do not have working televisions attached. People buy the dish first in hopes of getting a TV later and as a status symbol now. I don’t know if that is true. It sounds more like a joke. People like to tell us stories like that.
There were late model cars on the road and a fair amount of traffic even thorough we were well past the usual rush hours. Iraqis do most of their business in the morning and most of their recreation after dark. This makes a lot of sense given the hot climate. Mornings and evenings are pleasant.
Below – still not a nice place, but getting better.
Anyway, yesterday was a long day, but the walk through town made it worthwhile.
Below – Hit is an irregated agricultural area and the town is full of shops fixing pumps and engines. It looks like a junk heap, but a lot of guys were hard at work. They proudly showed us their tools and they seemed to be real craftsmen.
I got a good impression from the visit to Hit. It was good to see so many people actually at work. We often pass lots of young men just standing around, smoking. Today, it seemed every adult was doing something useful. Maybe I just hit Hit at the right time.