Saturday, May 20, 2006

Incredible Education

What we're learning out here is so life altering that it's hard to describe. We are of course learning by feeling, seeing, smelling, tasting and listening first hand. All of our senses are being expanded every day. Infact some days I get a sensory perseption overload and with so much information to store I get a headache. Afghanistan was one of our greatest experiences but unfortunately we were only able to stay a few days. We got such a range of looks from the people. Some were blank, a few unfriendly, shy, and a good number of faces we couldn't even see at all because they were fully or partially covered (those being the women) and of course most wondering what the heck we were doing. The children were delightful and well behaved. I think when travelling we need to learn to rely on instincts to a great extent, because some times what we've been taught is not always correct. The fears we've learned from ignorance aren't always true either! Yes, we went into a country with a war in progress in a small area BUT we decided to rely on information from people who know more by first hand experience and have just come through the area. I am very happy that we made the decision to go through Afghanistan. On the bus ride from the Pakistan border to Kabul we met a really helpful guy who had some english and infact he went WAY out of his way to see us safely to our hotel after our 12 hour ride. There were a few other really nice people on the bus who gave us cold bottled water, juice boxes and oranges because they could see that we were very hot and tired. We also had a few very friendly welcome notes passed to us in the bus, offering help to us if there was a need for it. Unfortunately some of the happy welcoming feelings were dampered during our walk to the hotel, when some stupid guys decided to grab the girls butts. Savannah had to whack one and Bre bent back some one elses fingers. The men are more like Indians than the Pakistanis but worse in the aggresive sense. They act like a bunch of randy 14 year olds and jump to the conclution that every woman in the west is a whore! Which is too bad and they need to learn and it's sad that a few idiot guys can really ruin the good feelings we had up 'till then. On our 8 hour bus ride from Kabul to Kunduz we again met a nice young man with english and REALLY went out of his way to be most generous. After seeing us to our hotel and the looks on our faces at the price, he offered us a place to stay at his own sisters house across the street. We decided to accept his offer (only because of the stories we'd heard from travellers doing the same and our own intuition). WOW! Talk about hospitality to the max! We were treated like pure royalty and fed until we almost burst. They spent that night and the whole next day entertaining and treating us. We even got live music put on at the house for us as special guests of honor. I honestly don't think that an average Afghani gets as much food in a week as we did that night alone! The family we stayed with consisted of a husband, his three wives and 14 kids and his youngest wife due soon with her first. I think he's a big wig in town. He seems to know everyone in town but then again with these sized families I begin to think the whole town is related. Our original plan was to sleep then wake and take a bus to the border..... Once we met the family our plans got a little more interesting! We woke up at 4:00 a.m. (their normal routine) and saw sunrise around 4:30 a.m. from the expensive land cruiser we were being driven around in to see the country side and meet more family in the nearby village. Each visit to a family we got fed and bloated with cup after cup of never ending chai! It was an amazing experience and the hospitality is incredible. I wish that we westerners hadn't lost the desire to be hosts to complete strangers and expect nothing in return. I know we're good at hosting our family and friends but a complete stranger off the street....? It's also a strange feeling to be a guest to such hospitality, that it's even hard to accept sometimes.
All in all I have absolutely no regrets for going to Afghanistan.
You guys won't believe this but.......... it rained....... We've told you before that it seems to rain every time we change countries and it was a little strange. Well, while leaving Pakistan Ammon says "Well guys, I aint seeing the rain today!" and I said " The day is NOT done, just you wait 'n see!" While going over the Kyber pass we got a quick but sure 10 minute thunder and rain storm out of the clear blue sky. It was definately rare to happen. So rare that everyone in the bus opened their windows to touch the rain!! You got to understand that the Kyber pass is probably the dustiest, driest pass we've seen. Then crossing from Afghanistan to Tajikistan we were SURE this would be the end of the streek! Again it was a beautiful hot, clear, suny day in the 40C's. Ammon said the same thing again with so much certainty, the girls almost gave up hope. Sure enough! Viola!!!!!!! A quick shower but a definate sign! THAT is not just a coincidence if you ask me! I say it's Gods tears of joy for us and blessing on the new country we're entering and Ammon says it's some sort of a baptism and leaving the old behind and making the best that you can of the next! It's amazing really...... we're talking freak rain storms.


At 7:37 AM , Anonymous Andrew Chobaniuk said...

did you see any canadian soldiers in kabul? my family shows that kind of hospitality, when my father ran his travel agency we used to put up travellers, we had some americans stay here and they were really gratefull, if more people knew how it felt to be great hosts, canada could be like afgnistan


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home