Last Kabul Post!
August 20, 2007
This will be my last Kabul blog. Not because I won't have things to
say right up until I take off tomorrow morning, but because today is
my last day with a computer and Internet in Afghanistan. I won't have access soon after I post this. I have to turn in my computer, along with my radio and charger. I'm turning in my cell phone charger, but not my cell phone - the head of administration agreed that I could give it to the driver at the airport before I leave. Therefore, text messages are welcomed for the next 20 hours!
We're all still really excited that the Afghan police got to the
German hostage before her captors got desperate and sold her to the Taliban. The Afghan police - and the government - were needing a "win" to show they are capable. What's sad is that, more than likely, the people who arranged for this kidnapping were people this woman knew and trusted and probably she thought she had a very good relationship with. Same for many of the people who have been kidnapped or killed here, international and Afghan alike. It's not from desperation - it's from greed. If there is anything I've learned in Afghanistan, it's that greed is one of the most frightening, destructive characteristics
Anyway, I put together some statistic about my time here:
Dari words I learned:
- My "mission" was 184 days long, March 1 - August 21.
- I think I was actually in Afghanistan itself for 125 days in total.
- As of when I wrote this final blog, I have sent 415 text messages
via my cell phone. I received 335.
- I have made 139 posts to this blog as of the day I arrived, some of them forwarded newspaper articles. Take the forwarded articles away, and I didn't post quite once a day.
- I lost five pounds, then gained it all back.
- I posted most in July (31 posts) and least in April (just 16).
- Restaurant I frequented the most, by far: Chaila. Second most: Cabul Coffee House. Third most: The Korean Restaurant near the Silo. Fourth most: L'Atmosphere. Restaurants I had take away from most: a toss up between Afghan Fried Chicken and the French Bakery.
If you are interested in learning more Dari/Farsi/Tajik).
- tashakur - thank you
- bali - yes
- charrow - why?
- charrow ney - why not?
- chop - left
- roost - right
- burro - straight ahead/forward
- eenja - here
- burrum; mirrum - they both pretty much mean let's go
- khareji - foreigners
- chi-toor-hasty? - how are you? (actually, I have never said this, but I know it when I hear it).
I learned only one Pashto word: manana (it means "thank you").
So, my regrets upon leaving Afghanistan? That I:
Inshallah, the security situation will change so much in 10 years that Stefan and I will come back and visit Bamiyan and Herat as carefree tourists.
- didn't exercise (I can use the excuse of broken equipment when I
stayed at Assa 2, but not here)
- didn't learn more Dari
- never got a photo of kites
- never got a photo of me standing in front of Darulaman Palace,
which I've seen almost every day that I've been here
- never got a photo of a woman in a burka riding on the back of a motorcycle
- never went to a hill over-looking Kabul (I waited too long... and now, it's too dangerous to do this)
- never was in a place where there was no artificial light, on a moonless night, so that I could look up at the endless stars of the Afghan sky
- never went to the Gandamack bar
- that I didn't brazenly write the American Embassy and ask to please be invited to whatever July 4th celebration they were having
- never went to Bamiyan or Herat (again, I waited too long, and now it's too dangerous)
- that I didn't insist on going on more missions
- didn't do something really tangible to help the people of Afghanistan
I hope you have enjoyed the photos and all the stories. I hope I didn't turn you off entirely to working in international development. I tried always to come from a place of honesty and sincerity, even if I wasn't diplomatic.
Afghanistan is worth supporting. I still believe it has a future. Ultimately, though, it's up to the people themselves. And I'll say it again: it will never happen unless women are allowed to be a part of Afghanistan's future.
I'll continue to hope that the amazing stories of how people are working together, and working so hard, will get out.
Thanks again to everyone who wrote me while I was here - emails short and long kept me going, no matter what the subject matter - laundry, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, new cars, old cars, laying tile, hanging drywall - I loved it all. I really can't emphasize that enough. Please don't stop!
I'm very lucky to have friends like you. I particularly appreciated the emails of the last 24 hours. Those meant a lot, especially the funny ones.
As of today, I'll go back to blogging every other month or less.
If you have read this blawg, PLEASE let me know.
Comments are welcomed, and motivate me o keep writing --
without comments, I start o think I'm talking o cyberair.
A Broad Abroad - Afghanistan | A Broad Abroad - Main Menu | contact me
The personal opinions expressed on this page are solely those of Ms. Cravens, unless otherwise noted.