Thursday, November 30, 2006

Afghan Officials Uncover Alisa's Secret

Afghan consular officials kindly granted me a visa to stay here, but I guess the long hair in my passport photo was not enough to convince them that I am a woman. I thought those surgeons in Bangkok did a pretty darn good job! This photo courtesy of my colleague Musadeq Sadeq.

Seeing Snow Again

Last night, Landry and I had saw our first up-close snowfall in years -- five years for me. I've seen snow on mountains in Nepal and in Afghanistan recently, but it's not the same as having a white lawn before you, only a few paces away, freshly dusted. It all melted into the city's muddy roads under the day's sun, making my commute to work less dusty than usual.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Life in Kabul

Landry and I arrived at our new home in Kabul on Nov. 9. We have been forced to make minor adjustments to our lives -- making sure to brush our teeth and shower during the few hours each day when there is electricity, and sleeping nestled under heavy blankets in the winter chill that settled on this city the day we arrived. We've since had a wood-burning stove installed in our bedroom, which keeps us warm for a few hours when we go to bed.

Work has been interesting for both of us. Landry spends his days creating graphic designs, such as a new logo for the Ministry of Women's Affairs. Meanwhile, I interviewed the minister herself, and have done other stories, including one about a 16-year-old woman, Gulsum, who set herself on fire to escape her abusive, 40-year-old husband.

Today, my workplace office manager's 2-month-old daughter died. She had a bad cough yesterday, and then at midnight, she died, I was told. Afghanistan has one of the world's highest rates of infant mortality.

Kabul from Atop: Brownville

Sunday, November 12, 2006