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 of mankind.

Anyway, I put together some statistic about my time here:

Dari words I learned: If you are interested in learning more Dari/Farsi/Tajik).

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.

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.

Take care!


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Comments are welcomed, and motivate me o keep writing --
without comments, I start o think I'm talking o cyberair.

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