Sometimes, at the right time of year, at the right place, Afghanistan is a wonderful place to be. We have had three long days of real heat, and then today, it rained. Not much, but enough. The dust was caught up in the moisture, and as the call to prayer sounded at Iftar, the smell of lamb and chicken on the charcoal spits mingled with the rain and it was all wonderful.
Nothing is ever perfect: last week there was an attack at the British Council, and we fully expect the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to be significant. But we have to take the good moments when we can. In Faizabad, in the north east last week, I helped a new team of community development workers with their training; all going well, we will start work in another set of remote communities within a few weeks. Our renewable energy work there is extraordinary, thanks to a committed Afghan team and a scrupulous German engineer. Villages that would otherwise be forever using candles and torches are now having electricity via hydro-power, every night. And our adult education program is bringing people into new countries: critical thinking, interrogation of long held beliefs, voicing opinions, forming civic groups, standing up against injustice.
I sat tonight and smelt the rain and felt grateful that I can be here.