At my work, we have also moved office, and it has taken longer than expected. No telephones or internet for the first two weeks, so a lot of work had to be done from home. Finally, the days after Eid, internet and phones were working again and life went back to normal.
The last weekend of September, we were busy with coffee mornings and birthday parties, all very nice and social activities. Elias was invited to a pool party with all his class mates. It was great to see him running around and playing with them, one would not know that he just started a new class this year and I felt very happy for him. School is fine, he is learning French and Arabic and he will start playing football after school. My little girl enjoys her nursery as well, leaving every morning on the bus with her beloved "Ngingi" toy. The nursery is fantastic and every week she brings home amazing art work...!
The last days of September, I went to Kabul again for a three day visit, which was soon extended to a six day visit! I decided to stay a few more days to be able to finish some more work, though I think I have to go back there again by the end of the month, which I am already looking forward to! Kabul and Afghanistan is so much more than Talibans and bombs. Though of course, one has to be careful, and things take time. You need a driver to go somewhere and if a bomb goes off, everyone will be on security lock down and prohibited to leave the compound.
This time we had the opportunity to visit a local family. They live in the outskirts of Kabul, in a very quiet and beautiful area, where you can see the mountains just outside their window. We passed busy market streeets, dirty rivers and were amazed by all the houses built on the mountain slopes. I can't even imagine to walk up and down those stairs every day! Children with school bags, mothers with babies, men with beard and traditional clothes, men in Western clothes, women in burqa, women with only a thin head scarf.
We were greeted by our hosts older and younger brothers and all the children in the house, all curious and very friendly. We sat down in a bright room with big carpets on the floor and cushions along the walls. First, they servered green tea, cookies, candy and biscuits. After that, a lovely Afghan lunch was brough in. The typical Central Asian dish with rice, raisins (a type of raisin), carrot and meat, all cooked together (in Uzbekistan, they call it ploff). Chicken, fries, salad, soft drinks and after the meal, water melon and grapes. One of the family members acted interpreter and questions bounced back and forth between all of us. Being the only woman in the company, I had the opportunity to meet the wife and mother of our host. The women never show themselves among male guests and they have their on room where only the women gather.
It was truly an amazing lunch, to be able to sit down with these incredibly friendly people and enjoy a lunch with them brought new perspectives to Kabul. I am becoming more and more curious about this country and its beautiful but often also very cruel, history.