Spring in Kabul…

A few weeks ago our day guard who loves to do gardening also, approached me and asked if he could buy 10 more rose bushes for the garden. Of course I agreed… Kabul would not be the same without roses, and this week our first rose bloomed…

I only arrived in September so I missed the Spring last year, but I have to say, I think it will be my favourite season here in Afghanistan. Our vine is growing and our guard, come gardener, has been proudly pointing out the beginning signs of grapes, “Look, grape juice”…

The sun is shining, kids are playing cricket in the street (even some security guards – I won’t mention where) and there’s nothing like driving through the city, watching the every-day life while listening to Afghan music through the radio, or from one of the cassettes the boys are selling in the street, exchangeable through the car window at discount rate.

I’ve had some guests from Cambodia this week and it’s been so nice to get out and about to see some sites. The other day we were at Quargha Lake, where many of the Afghan families go during the summer, just a half hour ride out of Kabul. Then yesterday we went to see the ruins of the Royal Palace of Darulaman, built in the 1920s, in grand European style, but destroyed by war. I imagine it was absolutely beautiful in its day… I felt quite sad, a reminder of the damage war inflicts on a country. I would have loved to have seen Kabul in the 60s…

I’m struck by the beauty of Afghanistan, but also know that for so many Afghans, life is brutally hard. So it’s no surprise that I would feel frustrated when I hear of the extravagant spending and what seems like ‘money thrown at Afghanistan’ but not hitting the right places… I’m conflicted… There is so much good work happening here, but at the same time there seems to be so much unnecessary spending of money that if spent wisely could benefit a great many Afghans.

This week I met several female business entrepreneurs who told me that the biggest challenge to Afghan women becoming business women was that they couldn’t by law own property, which meant they couldn’t access loans. “Finance is the biggest need”… there you go, that’s one great option to explore for someone who wants to make a good investment in this country…
Well, back to work, I have an assignment due… I’ll write again soon…

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Posted on April 24, 2010, in Reflections. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi, I love your writing and its lovely to hear the experiences of someone living and working in Kabul. Please keep writing this blog! Its really good!

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