Six months ago we stumbled off our 8th and final airplane that had brought us from America to our new home in northern Afghanistan…almost. Actually, we still had an hour and half drive before we reached our final destination. Six months ago, it was blazing hot and dusty and with the haze of jet lag and inevitable stomach bugs, those first weeks seem almost like a hallucination of some sort. We spent the first six weeks house hunting and getting settled. We started to get to know the people on our team and slowly got our brains back in Farsi speaking mode.
Today the weather is, literally, freezing. I’m typing this, bundled up in many layers and sitting as close as I can to our coal stove. All three kids are in school, which is in a room across the yard from our house.
Our kids’ teacher and our other teammate Miss B and I are busy planning a shopping trip to the big city later this month. Mr. Incredible is at his workshop in town, getting ready to manufacture heating stoves.
Later in the day, I’ll head off to language class and Dash and Violet will ride their bikes through our neighborhood to their language class and then on to meet up with some Afghan friends who come over to our teammates house to jump on the trampoline and do homework together.
All that to say, six months in, Silk Road City is becoming home. I thought you might like to see some photos of places and people around town. You’ll notice there are no pictures of ladies — this is a very conservative place and most women go out fully covered, including their faces and friends who do let me take their picture, wouldn’t want their faces shown to people they aren’t related to. There is so much I could show you, but I tried to limit myself, with this post, to pictures of things in our every day lives.
Dash getting a stylish haircut at the barber shop
My language teacher’s niece. Her name is literally “Moonlight.” I have made it my mission to get this gorgeous girl to smile at me and we’ve wasted many a “study” hour cooing at the baby. But seriously, how could you not?
These motorcycle rickshaws are how we get around as a family. Mostly though, Dash and Violet ride their bikes, Mr. Incredible takes his motorcycle and I do a lot of walking.
Jack Jack’s favorite thing to do, is to catch a rickshaw with Daddy and help him with his work in town.
Silk Road City is mostly desert, so this park/orchard at the edge of town is the perfect spot to go when we need to hear wind in the trees and walk on green grass. It’s almost always empty, so the kids and us ladies can walk and run freely.
Down town has a few shiny buildings and modern offices, but it’s still mostly an outpost of open bazaars and mud walled houses.
This guy lives in the big city an hour away from us. He runs a metal casting workshop with his sons and has been very hospitable to Mr. Incredible, showing him the way things are done, helping him find supplies and patiently answering this foreigner’s many many questions.
I walk this street nearly every day to language class. It’s quiet and rural and most days I have to doge herds of goats and small shepherd boys. The floating pink balls in the picture are sticks of cotton candy. The neighbor kids come running as these guys walk down the road singing and calling out their product.
This sweet girl was proudly showing me her bike riding skills as I walked past one day. She agreed to stop for a picture and gave me this full faced grin.
Violet, Dash and Jack Jack tearing up down a dusty road near our home at sunset.
On our drive home from the park (pictured above) we passed this camel. He’s all dressed up for a wedding and will be escorting the new bride and her possessions to her new home.
This camel, however, got turned into stew meat. Violet and I had some camel stew at the big feast at the end of Ramadan. It was served with pumpkin, fresh naan and tea and it was yummy.