The closer you get…










All five of us are enjoying being in Afghanistan for these two weeks, with some caveats.

1. the mud. While technically it is spring, it has rained every day since we got here. Julie was meant to fly to Mazar yesterday, and couldn’t because there had been so much rain, the airport was flooded. Yep, you read it right. And Afghan mud has unique and strange qualities. You can walk from the bedroom to the bathroom, and come back muddy. You can wash mud off your pants, three times, and it is still there! You can tiptoe carefully around a patch in the road where the mud is thick, only to find mud in your hair. Hours later!

2. the cold. We didn’t expect this, and had to make hasty trips to the bazaar, to buy jackets. Only their winter jackets are all packed away, because it is summer. So only T shirts are on sale now. So naturally, I bought T shirts. Now we are all layered up like lunatics.

3. the sickness. Within hours of getting here, Rachel had a fever. Elijah vomited carefully into his cupped hands last night at 3am and carried it to the bathroom, but couldn’t open the door, and had to stand there yelling/ vomiting till we came. (He then repeated this trick 2 hours later). Pieta has a cold and sore lips (eh?). Seems there is something about arriving here that activates bugs.

4. the way plans get cast aside. Twice now Julie has tried to get to Mazar. Rain and flooding has foiled both attempts. We have ended up sharing rooms with a couple trying to get back to Lal, who have been stumped twice now, because of weather. The upside to this is pleasant surprises – kissing your wife good bye for three days, only to have her show up two hours later. More time with friends. But it does make for low-level frustration, and traversing many low levels of frustration can lead you to the basement of despair.

All that said, it is good being here. The kids are loving seeing their friends. It is good to see Tom and Lyn settling in so well. We are doing good work. We have been welcomed back into a what is still a family for us. It is almost as though we never left.

Yes, the closer you get here, the more wonderful it is*.

*As long as you can expand your definition of wonderful to include some pretty annoying things.

4 thoughts on “The closer you get…

  1. I will carefully and purposefully work to expand my definition of wonderful. Excellent plan – thank you for the idea 😉

    Good luck with avoiding the basement of despair. I can only imagine how muddy that would be under the circumstances.

    I hope that Rachel, Elijah, Pieta are all feeling better soon. (Pieta auto-corrects as ‘poets’ which is nice).

  2. yes, ‘wonderful’ is relative – which is a good thing because it means you can find something wonderful every day. even when you’re sick and stranded in the mud.

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