Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Afghanistan

I arrived at Kabul International Airport Wednesday morning to take on a month or so of work here in Afghanistan. It has been a goal of mine to get here for the past several years. After over a month of planning, I finally made it--just in time for winter to start.

I have had the great fortune of finding a place to stay with a friend rent-free, for the moment. I am being careful. In Kabul these days that means I don't get to walk from place to place, and if I am out of the car, I am not alone and it's quick. The place where I am staying is guarded, as are many guesthouses, hotels and restaurants. Roadblocks, checkpoints and barricaded streets are part of life here. Power outages are common.

It's all taking some getting used to. Luckily, there is a cadre of supportive and experienced journalists and aid workers here who have been endless founts of information and assistance.

One of the most unexpected things for me is how much this place reminds me of Montana. It may be the cool mountain air or the thousands of stars filling the night sky. I sleep in my sleeping bag and use my flashlight frequently. My hiking boots are my preferred footwear. Whatever the reason, I am thankful to feel a connection to home.

More to come...