We arrived back in Kabul 6 months ago, almost to the day.
10 days before we left Australia, the Nuristan Eye Camp team were killed. We got here in time for the burials of Tom and Dan.Since then, back in my home town, my father has been been hospitalised numerous times, twice via ambulance, once having technically died enroute. My sister’s baby died at 1 day old. There have been suicide bombs:1 km up the road, several across town and the list of places we can visit has gotten even shorter. We were kicked out of our home with 10 days notice in the middle of winter and had to find a new place, where I spent the first week dealing with
leaking flooding toilets, leaking roofs, building a kitchen, fixing drains and oh, yes, the leaking toilets. I have been away more than a month visiting different projects around the country. I have been sick repeatedly with chest infections, as has our older daughter: we get the results of the chest x-ray today. Our younger daughter is yet to sleep through the night. We’ve had to deal with other issues, some of which must remain confidential.
I think that is why we are tired, and I am irritable, and stressed. I am less patient with my kids at times like this, and I don’t like it. I don’t want them to suffer my stress. Julie says we need to find more joy here, and she is right. You can’t survive here on determination only; you become cynicalembitteredawfultobearound. I know, I have been there. So, we are now looking actively for more joy. I think I spotted some down the back of the couch, along with some sultanas and a few lego pieces. I’ll tell you if I find any more.
Why am I writing all this?
I think those who care about us enough to read this blog deserve to know how we are doing. I don’t want to sugar coat this experience. But let me emphasize this: Yes, we are hard pressed, but we are not crushed; we may be perplexed, but we are not in despair; persecuted perhaps, but not abandoned; sometimes struck down, but not destroyed.
I know this. We pretty much knew what we were signing on for, and it is ok. So in reading this, if you are a person of prayer, then pray. For us, for this nation. If it is hard for us, it is terribly much more so for Afghans. Raise this place to God. If you don’t consider yourself a person of prayer – pray anyway. This endeavour is beyond individuals, aid agencies, groups, donors, armies and nations, we know this. It is beyond us, but it is still in our hands, somehow.
This photo is here because it reminds me of my kids’ capacity for joy.