Kabul Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Afghanistan has a problem. There are just too many great photo opportunities! Shepherds herding their sheep down our street, boys flying kites from every vantage point, young beggars with piercing green eyes, donkeys negotiating through congested traffic, endless colourful bazaars and curious gazes from behind blue chadors. It has been a busy week in Kabul.
Each day is long and full and it is hard to believe that we have only been here 11 days. We have had successful meetings and secured several contracts with the United Nations, USAID, and a prominent engineering company. Everyone wants us to commence our English programs yesterday! We spent a day buying suitable clothing for official level meetings and also designed our new SEA Afghanistan teacher’s uniform (photo of Ingrid and one of staff, Abbas).
It has also been a sobering time with the abduction of 26 foreigners (2 of them murdered so far). The death of the King of Afghanistan prompted 3 days of national mourning and virtually closed down all business activity.
Everyday life is becoming normal despite the frequent overhead fighter jets and helicopters, the overwhelming dust and the security situation. It’s hard not to feel cooped up, but the minute you step outside you are the target of intense stares and verbal (but harmless) harassment by boys and beggars. It is difficult to not be moved when a beggar woman clutching a baby is banging with her fists on your car window while trapped in traffic!
However, there is certainly more good than bad.
Last night we attended an Afghan family wedding of one of our staff members. It was a cultural banquet and we were treated as guests of honour. It was impossible to say how many attended total as men and women are strictly separated by large wooden barriers. We squeezed in with at least 400 women, plus children, in a small area next to the men’s section. Veils were quickly discarded to reveal pancake heavy makeup and elaborate glitter and sequins gowns.
We have managed to travel a bit and visited an NGO community project outside of Kabul which provides Literacy, Primary Health Care and IT training to 40 villages.
Today we went to America and visited Camp Eggers US Military Command Base (and didn’t mind being stared at there at all!).
I miss fresh milk and soft bread, clean air and clean fingernails.
The adventure continues…