This photo is from a few years ago. I lost it on a memory card, forgot about it, and refound it a few days ago. It is from one of the main streets in Mazar. Just near this place, a small boy threw rocks at me in 1996. I chased him, caught him and whacked him round the ear. A crowd gathered, laughing and cheering – for him or me, I am not sure. We then lived there for about 3 and a half years, from 1999 to 2005. It was a great time for us, full of good and awful memories.
We are heading back to Mazar in a few days. I have 10 days work with another NGO, evaluating some programs. It will be good to do something different, and to get out of Kabul.
Then we are leaving Afghanistan, a few weeks later, to head back to Australia, for the birth of our third child. We are aware it might be a long time before we are back: about the time we will want to return, will be peak insecurity season, and the election will be only weeks away. So I expect some delays.
It is a good chance to greet old friends again, before we leave.