Posted by CODEPINK Staff
A cacophony of song birds continues at a pitch even at 11pm. They quiet and then something seems to wake them.
Our rooms are on their courtyard of flowers, grass, fountains, vine drenched archways and relaxing places to enjoy tea. We each have our own monk’s cell with bed, toilet and internet hookup.
Slowly, over 4 hours this morning (Sunday) we became the 9 traveling companions—Pink Sisters—because Paul the only male, wanted to call us either moms (we are all old enough to qualify) or sisters and we leapt at the latter. We gathered at the boarding gate and introduced ourselves, expressed our fears and our desires, barely noticing that the plane was about 2 hours late by the time we finished. We almost had the plane to ourselves, except some interesting men coming to do their work. The most macho New Zealander with a company that transports dangerous materials was freaked to be going to Kabul and even after our arrival was hyper-ventilating with panic. Then there was the Christian social worker, who had no fear even with a fatwa out on him and his wife for building schools for girls. Another was a very buff young man who worked in some form of security. The ride was a bit bumpy as we neared Kabul and dropped below the clouds to the dusty broken down city.
We won’t get a clean breath until we are back in Dubai. Every breath is full of dust, ash, smells and pain.
Arriving 2 hours late, I went to where I thought I was supposed to meet Najib but there was no one with a sign. I called Nooria to see if she could help me find Najib and she instructed me that no one was allowed near the airport except those flying, so it is quite a walk to the meeting area. Lots of security on guard from multiple sources. All very helpful.
The drive to where we were staying gave us a sense of life in the city. Markets on the street, one block totally destroyed, another full to the brim with shops and houses and buildings. Traffic had flow and jams. A girls school let out as we were passing by.....they streamed by in a uniform of black topped with a white flowing scarf. They were talking up a storm and only a few noticed us with curiosity. We were entranced by their youthful exuberance and energy.
We started with tea in the garden and moved to dinner with our friends, re-arranging the weeks schedule and learning about life in Kabul and their ideas of what could work. So far everyone is very friendly, the fears seem to have been calmed, and we are ready for an exciting and full day tomorrow.
No more money for soldiers!!!! Money for jobs, green jobs and make the Taliban obsolete with better alternatives.