This seems to be the Independence Day world tour. We celebrated the India Independence Day while in country a couple of days ago and then we arrived to Afghanistan on their Independence Day. Heading to Afghanistan we were aware that security seems to be getting tighter and tighter with each flight at the airport, yet we have never felt unsafe. Stricter security is more of a hassle than anything. We found the airplane to Kabul full of many nationalities and few women. Americans, a French film team, a Spanish group of workers and possible UN workers. It was interesting as we landed to taxi and passed 10 fighter jets, C130s and various UN planes and jets, all ready to go.
As we drove through the city, we felt like we had stepped back 2,000 years. There is still a lot of reconstruction going on from the war. The road to our guest house is riddled with bullet holes and rubble of bombed out buildings. They had been fighting from mountain to mountain and unfortunately, the city sits in the valley.
The women on the street are few and we’ve seen many blue burqas, as those who have ventured out, hurry by. It was very obvious that women travel on a very limited basis. We were two of a handful at the airport and before we walked out of the plane, we had to put on our head scarves. As Susanne donned her head scarf, she noted that it really was an uneasy feeling. She described it as feeling like she disappeared. Like she were invisible by being all covered.
Invisible is good in this political climate as it is definitely necessary to get work done here. In order to have respect and be able to bring social help and economic development to this place, we must respect their culture and customs. We are glad it is not the expected 110 degrees outside as we are wearing long sleeves and pants with our head scarves. We are certainly celebrating the under 100 degree temps.