I am in touch with one of my good students from last semester who is currently in Afghanistan (bet you can't guess why). Below is a copy of the e-mail I just got from him.
I've never been to Yosemite. I've wanted to go for a while though. I'm in Ghazni, Afghanistan now. I was in Bagram. The conditions here are horrible. The food is disgusting, the showers are about a 1/4 mile walk from my b-hut (b-huts are wooden boxes with beds in them), and it's still pretty hot. Other than that things couldn't be better. I'm actually considering moving out here. I'll just build my very own mud hut, buy some goats and turn my skin into leather standing in the sun all day. No, it's not all that bad. We get hit by mortar rounds and rockets about once a week, but the Taliban don't know how to use the weapons and miss most of the time, so that's good. Well, gotta get to sleep. We work about 12 hours a day, so I get up pretty early. Talk to you later.
You can see why I'm in touch with him, he can spell, compose sentences, and obviously has a good handle on sarcasm. Suddenly I'm less pessimistic about starting the school year off!