As the air heats up, the stench of the sewers begins to increase. During a commute across town, or simply a walk across the office campus from one building to another, the open sewers/gutters, create an aroma that makes one fall in love with perfume and aroma therapy. I love perfume. I love aromatherapy. I love candles. My office and house are well lit these days. The Jasmine and Bergamont combination helps with daily life smells of Kabul.
As a tenet of San Francisco for many years, you get trained to stop, think and decide when the ground shakes. Then I became a tenet of Kabul for the past few years, when you get trained to stop, think and decide when the ground shakes, the windows rattle and the dishes shakes. It’s been a shaky morning. The shaking doesn’t match with helicopters or things that go kaboom, rather it is from the machinery that is relaying the road on our street. Last fall it was a hairdo of a project for the municipality for 3 months. Then again they decided to redo the same project this spring. It’s been about a month and we are getting a new road to replace the new road from the fall.
The shaking, i just went and looked, it “the flattener” to make all the stones and dirt flat. Yes, they did it all night, all night for the past 5 nights and it looks like it might happen for a few more before they final asphalt again. Never a dull moment.
The best day of the week is Thursday in AFG, because Thursday is the new Friday for the rest of the world. Our weekend starts on Thursday afternoon and we all chillax on Fridays and Saturdays. The ministries are all closed on Thursday, so the commute across town in 15 minutes – while all other days are over an hour, most days 1.5 hours.
Today i was sharing the “Blue Dolphin” (our car) with a colleague from Holland. We chatted about music, fresh bread, and the number of hours before the weekend started. There were a few bus loads of folks crossing town, sound asleep on the bus, a couple of kids in line at the zoo, and the handful of Traffic Police working hard and being completely ignored.
I didn’t spot a nose picker, 4 kids on a scooter without helmets, or old women trying to cross the busy street in town without a kid helping them. Arrive at the office, early, no one in, fresh cup of coffee and Kabooooom.
Not far away, we find out a bit later. A guy had a cup of tea and eggs for breakfast, said goodbye to his kids, and then blew himself up near some international military trucks. 25 civilians dead and lots of kids hurt.
Ugh, the commute always stinks
….. and I have finally followed up on my New Year’s Resolution to write more. Roses are budding, sitting out in the lawn in the evening, ice cream cart songs are jiggling in the background, and birds calling each other at 5 am. It’s the best time of year here, so I thought I’d start blogging again.
You have to be thankful and feel reassured that I live in a city where at this very moment at 7 pm at night, they are running a “training event” in the city. a mock multi-complex huge attack, to see if the Afghan Army and Police are ready for the departure of internationals. Good times
So this morning a French International got kidnapped near to my house. So my boss sends this email this pm:
“In view of this (the practice take over and meltdown of the city) and today’s kidnapping in Taimani, I would strongly encourage all expats to stay home tonight.”
I was hoping to go bowling
First I must apologize for not posting for a whole month. It has been a busy time, I’ve been down in Big Turban Country dealing with both the big and small details of rolling out a complex education project. There are days that I fall asleep in my clothes at 7 pm after days full of mind work.
There have been some donations coming in and I have to say “thanks” for these. Unexpected and very useful. Thanks to all of those who are thinking of the kids and teachers here and are digging deep to support our work. These days our efforts are supporting a computer lab in Ghazni for girls who are studying extra math and science so to boost their understanding. SIO is proud to bring the internet free to the girls and to support 2 IT teachers to teach the students how to use computers.
Bombs are loud, hurt people, break windows, and produce huge amounts of smoke and panic. When they are on your street, they are extra loud. We are fine but the families of the Afghan soldiers and children are very sad right now.
Working in education in Afghanistan means that whatever you have on your “To Do” list probably won’t happen on the day you planned but a new list forms on its own.
On the list today:
- Attend meeting at the TTC (teacher training college)
- Give a welcome speech to the CBE (community based education) teachers who came for a training on children’s rights
- Check the quality of the education kits that are going to arrive.
Here’s what I ended up doing:
- Helped move the boxes of gear that were out in the rain
- Found out I had a virus on my computer that needed attending
- Discussed water quality testing costs and logistics of collecting samples in full Taliban country
- Gave an explaination of what “critical thinking” is and how old people are who should use it
- Talked to a gal to help me arrange to get containers on campus to hold stuff so the rain and snow don’t get it
- Shifted a program roll out to help include more females
You never know what you’ll wake up to.
To all those who have donated generously to SIO. Plans – provide electricity to the girls school so the computers we donated can run.
I’m thankful for a roof over my head, a job, my slippers