Friday, June 30, 2006

Note to self Afghan food is great just worry about the side effects.

Yesterday we took a walk to the back side of Kabul to look at a Mosque in need of repairs. This was a nice walk we usaully drive in the LTV (Light Tactical Vehicle) or (Ford Ranger Pick Up). We got to spend the whole time amongst the locals so a good first hand view of the village. We walked past the buildings constucted of mud and hay. Several trash pits and a line of sewage that ran back through an alley were kids and adults both walk to school work and to the Mosque we were visiting.

The problems with the Mosque were what you expected from a building thats been standing before I was born. The roof leaks, walls are crumbling, theres no room to pray, they also wash their feet before praying and they need a better area to do that. Lots of work but thats what were here to do.

While at the Mosque I met too younger guys maybe my age wrestling with each other and dying for a picture. It reminded me so much of my friends and I back home how much we play and goof off, they really are no different from us just in a bad situation.

After leaving the Mosque we walked back through the alley, trying to catch a picture of the beautiful little girls. I hate to put it this way but if these girls had the chance to live an American life they would be your next models. Green eyes some with red hair, its just like the the picture on the cover of the National Geographic in the 70's. The girls take off running scared of us or men in general.

We get to the location where we want to meet with the elders, and this place is amazing for Afghanistan and being the first time ive seen grass its was amazing for me. We go inside and sit down like all the rest of the times have tea, fresh water mellon, and grapes. After awhile one of the medics we bring along starts taking care of some of the people. He treats one man with asthma another with shoulder problems and a handful more.

While the "improtant people" were inside I staied and played with the children. Taking pictures running out of pens and begged to death for my watch or knife. I kept them happy with the pictures one of the boys was wanting the camera as a gift offering me 30 Afghanis for it, 50 Afghanis is equal to 1 us dollar.

All in all just another day in Afghanistan seeing the wrongs this country has been forced to deal with is unbeleaveable to say the least. I don't think I could ever stop helping the Afghans.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

High School

Today was just as amazing as the last. We went to check on the progress of a local High School that we are building. We locate the area look for a good contractor and give him the money to build it so the money stays in Kabul along with other stipulations. The school was coming along great considering the lack of power tools (none) and the amazing hard bare handed work done by the locals, they live, eat and pray in the school until its built.

About 3 months ago the school was a sewage site they have cleaned it up (to afghan standards) and continued on. I watched kids play on old swings and see saws that really don't have much of a saw left. I'm down about 20 ink pens or so but made a new friend, Hamiid a 12 year old boy who spoke English better than most Oklahomans do. Very friendly and helpful with all the other children letting me know what they were saying to me and what they wanted backsheesh (gift) toop (ball) along with several other things. He impressed, me over 80% of the country is illiterate and this 12 year old boy is caring on a conversation with me.

Im excited about my job (CERP Official) Commanders Emergency Relief Projects we get to deal first hand with the reconstruction of Afghanistan and helping out with the well being of the children the innocent ones. (Im sounding like the Sally Struthers "With only a penny a day") but I feel real passionate about this and can't wait to get back out..


Yesterday was my first day in town AMAZING!!! The pictures the movies its nothing like being here. This is a 3rd world country and you can tell that from the first few minutes of the airplane. Yesterday we went to a part of Kabul were the people are asking for a new Mosque (church). This one has holes in the roof, no lighting, no running water. It would be like all of us living back in the 1800's that's the way these people live and have no idea its different in other areas. This Mosque was made for about 100 people or so and the Village is about 100 strong to say the least. While Major Roper (my boss) was visiting with the Elders (like a mayor or Representative) I was visiting with several kids about 16-18 years old. Maybe all of them together knew enough English to make a paragraph if that. But they treated me great and were very friendly. I gave them a pack of Orbit gum and they didn't know how to take it they're used to regular bubble gum so I showed them and they wanted to know if it was from America so to them it was a 5 star candy. Another young boy asked me for my ink pen. I carry about 4 on me at a time so as I handed out my first one you would of thought I was giving away gold. These kids think pens are the greatest thing we could give them and they wont loose them or throw them away they keep them till the ink is gone. You know we throw them out if we don't like them or the slightest sign of no ink its trash.

that's how I take the kids here they appreciate everything we give them and anything we can do for them. We take so much for granted back home and these people use and reuse what ever they can get their hands on. This little boy was dying for me to take his picture and show him, thumbs up.