Afghanistan diary - day 2

17/06/10

A couple of bulky Marines ran onto the mini-runway to pick up our luggage as we landed at the Forward Operating Base (FOB), Delhi.

It was cold already but the rush from the helicopter's propeller blades made me shiver even more.

I was desperate to take my body armour off as this time round, it feels heavier. My shoulders are sore and my ribs ache.

Mortar damage

The first thing we noticed upon arrival were the blast proof bags that sit around the FOB. They're packed with earth and stones and are tied together by metal wire.

We then saw the holes in the concrete walls which were caused by mortar and bullet fire.

This place was certainly no Camp Leatherneck. Troops were brushing their teeth and washing their faces in the outside sinks which lined a pool of mud.

I was taken to my tent which was far from where the others slept. It was empty apart from a couple of cot beds. The Marine told me not to worry if I saw mice as a big white cat nested nearby. I wasn't thrilled.

I asked if I could bed with the boys as I didn't want to be alone but the Corporal told me men and women had to sleep apart.

Dinner invite

I knew I wasn't going to get much kip at FOB Delhi.

That night, the Colonel asked if the camerman, Pete, and I would like to go to the Afghan District Governor's house for dinner. I was shattered but didn't want to be rude.

I was given a bright red scarf with a gold trimming to put over my hair.

On the menu was lamb and rice with bread and fruit. I was gutted as I was starving and a vegetarian!

I picked at the rice, ate a couple of tangerines, and downed a can of lemonade.

The Afghan people were lovely though and even told me they liked my scarf.

I got back to the FOB and stared into the night sky. It was speckled with green and blue stars.

The Afghan sky is breathtaking and I couldn't help but wish the country was just as peaceful.

In pictures: Life on the front line