From our Eyes in the Middle East

September 12, 2011
By admin

Eva with girl

From Eva’s August 31 e-mail:

Salaam and Eid mubarek!
(“Eid mubarek” is Happy/Congrats Eid, which is the end of the holy month of fasting, Ramadan)

Jet lag is starting to hit pretty hard so I’m keeping this shortish ‘n sweet. Am at home in Kabul through tomorrow. So much to say already, and have only been here for 7 hours. Have been extraordinarily well taken care of. It’s the second day of Eid here, which means the whole country is celebrating being with loved ones and eating after a month of no food or water during the daylit hours. Needless to say, I feel very honored to be included in this as a new arrival.

A few images to share:
-Catching the first glimpses of entire horizons of sand-colored mountains – awe, gratitude, some sense of home
-Boys with far too serious faces pushing heavy loads of chopped potatoes uphill on Eid (to earn money, but Eid is a time when no family should have to work, especially the children)
-Hearing bumps from the shower/bathroom and looking out the window to see one kite, two kites, five kites swooping in the street, with the shouts of boys laughing and jostling in Dari
-Blasted out buildings being repaired, green trees being planted as we drove down the main roadway
-Donkey and man in cart trotting alongside us. An absence of traffic rules
-Understanding enough Dari to hold a toilet door closed for a woman at the airport – a feeling of great success & bridges being built (in the bathroom
-Watching music videos with Nakib, my new guest house friend. Practicing my broken Dari, his broken English, while Indian, Pakistani, Tajik, Afghan music videos blare in the background

I feel that I’m traveling with angels’ wings all around me. May they touch everyone. Amber spoke something very wise: when she’s gone to a country with the intention to help, it’s her who has undergone the most profound change. Amen.

Flights to Ghazni cancelled until Sat/Sun/Mon due to Eid so will be changing whole calendar around. Welcome to Afghanistan! Oh, boy… FYI, I am aware of the Kabul attacks.  Just in case you’re hearing about this, please know I’m being extremely conservative and will continue moving forward with the best info and best people around.


From Eva’s September 10th e-mail:
A few impressions:
-Sonya in the Women’s Garden today, plunking down beside me and
starting up a confident English conversation. She believes it’s okay
to have a friend who’s a boy. She’s a 1000-Watt light bulb.
-A low-ceilened, humid room in our Khurasan Learning Centers where
women who have gone through hell spoke overwhelming gratitude and
fierce desire to learn MORE.
-Beautiful, sweet little Shaboo on the Forward Operating Base (FOB) in
Ghazni giving me a gift the day I left and teasing Stetson
-Getting to know soldiers and having some sense of the people behind
this war/this rebuilding. There are both here. They are inextricably
married. I will not think of our military in an impersonal way again.
-Four men who are everything good in Ghazni
-Unbelievable divide between those in authority and those in rural areas.
-Holding hands with Fatema jan as we crossed Kabul’s insane traffic.
Holding hands often, casually, seeing this even more in men. It gets
-Gun fire, explosions being normal. An odd feeling of pride that I never jump.
-A 21:45 Hero Ceremony for an interpreter killed by a missile launched
over the FOB walls. Sorrow. Sorrow.
-Loneliness from countless hours of language and cultural barriers
shifting to real companionship and gratitude for the friends here.
Eva and soldier

One Response to From our Eyes in the Middle East

  1. Susie Hartney on September 13, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Tell us how you came to be in Afghanistan Eva!

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