A Reason to Smile…

I need to take the time to blog about how I’m feeling right now, having lost friends in the killing in North Eastern Afghanistan… but it’s still so unreal to me, and I’m hurting a lot. I lost one of my closest friends in the attack and I’m not sure how to feel… some moments it sinks in, other moments it just feels too unreal and I wait for my friend to come by for coffee on his way home from work…

So I will write in a few days… when I’m ready… for now, I wanted to share a moment that made me smile yesterday. We all need moments like this, and I’m just very thankful for knowing that I’m where I’m meant to be, even faced with the tragedy of losing loved ones. I’m thankful for who I am, for the friends and colleagues I have around me… and for knowing with confidence why I’m here…
This is just a light hearted story that I hope will make you smile as it did me…

The office guard strolled into my office this afternoon with one handful of straw and a plate of soil… he mixed them together as I silently and curiously watched and then he asked me ‘what is this in English’… I told him there really wasn’t a word, it was like clay, so I googled it for him, with a smile, and came up with clay straw… he then went away and came back having added water and mixed them together, I couldn’t help but laugh and told him it was clay… I had to write these words down on a post it note for him… he left happy… I was left baffled but smiling…

In my colleague’s office they were giggling so much they couldn’t even tell me why he had wanted to know those words. Later I called one staff in to my office and asked… Apparently there’s a guy in his community who treats him like he doesn’t know anything, ‘he tries to make him look stupid’… Our guard got upset last night and picked up straw and mud and rubbed them together asking him “do you know what these are in English and do you know what they make mixed – In English?”… the other guy replied “no” to which our guard announced “I do!!!” before walking away.

This afternoon’s moment was him doing his homework and covering his back… He really makes me smile!!

At the end of the day he came into my office and asked if I’d like to play football with him and the others in the garden…

I have wonderful staff…. how blessed am I 🙂


Posted on August 10, 2010, in Reflections. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Sounds like he might have been trying to make some “bricks”, another new word to impress his friend

  2. I am always looking forward to reading your blogs. So sorry to hear and read and see on TV all that has happened in these past few days, and for you to be loosing yet again a few close friends. Will be praying for you.

  3. Your hauntingly beautiful writing style draws me in to the reality of a world beyond the trappings of western affluence. It’s the raw everyday experiences you are capturing, and these written snapshots do as well as any journalist, as they come from a heart of one who cares and loves, and is in there for the long haul. Thank you.

  4. I was moved by the mention of the loss of your friend, the reason to smile didn’t help much. Your choice to pause and reflect is revealing of your character, as is your confidence in your calling. It’s remarkable actually.
    I’ve never I lost a loved one to a violent death (though I have a 30 year old daughter that disappeared a year ago into S.F.) but we’re all tested by some kind of furnace. Having the kind of faith Daniel had, is apparently part of your preparation for this times.
    Someday your close friend will walk in through another door, in another world and you’ll drink something better than coffee together. Until then you may drink alone from a different cup. Job 22:21
    K. McG

  5. COB
    Cob is a very old method of building with earth and straw or other fibers. It is quite similar to adobe in that the basic mix of clay and sand is the same, but it usually has a higher percentage of long straw fibers mixed in. Instead of creating uniform blocks to build with, cob is normally applied by hand in large gobs (or cobs) which can be tossed from one person to another during the building process. The traditional way of mixing the clay/sand/straw is with the bare feet; for this reason, it is fairly labor intensive.

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