Monday, November 23, 2009

Headed Home

"My bags are packed and I’m ready to go….....”

I head out this afternoon with mixed emotions, leaving many new and dear friends behind.

Last night Ted and I were invited to Meena’s home for dinner. Meena is a student here at SOLA (Meena is the young woman in the red scarf at the lunch table. The photo shows a typical lunch with the SOLA family!) She went with me and Rauf to the orphanage. Ted and I set out early to avoid traffic. BUT the taxi drive was yet again another ordeal. We spent 2 ½ hours going about 15-20 miles. At one point the taxi just turned off the engine and we sat, and sat and sat. I wondered if it was really worth it. I was feeling tired and thinking I should be home packing.

But once in Meena’s lovely home I knew it was all worth it. Her mother and father are simply wonderful and gracious. They had prepared a feast for us. AND they couldn’t stop thanking me, and Ted too, for doing what we are doing for Afghanistan. Time and again Afghans told to me how grateful they were that I had come to this country to help them. They know how hard it is to be here. They feel terrible when something happens – like the rocket attack incident.

So I head for the airport feeling sad about leaving the students I’ve become so connected with, the children in the orphanage, the sweet children in Kunduz and the many, many other wonderful [people I’ve met while I’ve been here. Thank heavens for email and Skype! I will at least know, unlike when I was here before, that I can keep in contact with all these people.

I saw Vaheed again yesterday and he is definitely working on the second book. He plans to be back here in late spring. I would love to be here when he records the songs with the children with Kabul. We’ll see. As they say in Dari – En Shallah (God willing)

I am taking Khaleda with me today on the plane. I think I mentioned before that she is the little girl who has Thalassemia and is coming to the States to receive necessary treatment. Her mother says she’s 11 yrs. old although she looks 6 or 7. She’s quite small and frail. She speaks no English. I speak a little Dari but I’m sure we will manage somehow. I worry about the long layover in Dubai – almost 4 hours. We don’t board the plane until midnight. She’ll be exhausted, I’m quite sure. I am going to try to convince United that she needs 2 seats so she can lay down. We’ll see how that goes. We land in Washington, DC in the early morning where Khaleda will be met by her host family. Then I will go back into the airport and head for Boston and Thanksgiving Day with my family.
There’s a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. That’s for sure.

khoda hafez (goodbye) from Kabul.

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