Thursday, January 25, 2007

Allah to the Rescue on Afghan Roads

Landry was traveling by road from Kabul to Islamabad, when a terrible thing happened -- his driver was taking the mountain road curves a bit too wildly and the car flipped over. Landry, who wasn't wearing his seatbelt, found himself upside down in the car and immediately crawled out of the broken passenger side window. The driver crept out as well, completely unharmed -- "Allah protected us," he told Landry, whose middle finger on his right hand was a bloody mess. He wrapped it in toilet paper and a plastic bag.

Where once no one was on the road, hordes of men poured out to upend the overturned car. They flipped the vehicle back on its wheels, and the driver turned to Landry and said, "Let's go!" A different vehicle? A bus nearby? Nope. The driver hopped into his car, revved up the engine and off they went toward the border with Pakistan, with little broken pieces of the window tinkling into Landry's lap as they sped along madly in the stunningly beautiful Afghan hinterlands.

Landry's finger? Broken just at the tip and a big flap of skin was torn off. A few stitches and a few weeks of bandage.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007

Flying Tang on the Shomali Plains

We went on a wonderful day trip and took a hike along a snowy path into a village north of Kabul. There, the children had a snowfight with one of our friends, and we enjoyed saying "salaam" and "eid mubarak" to the villagers on their special Eid holiday. Along the way, the rocky mountainside and homes were spraypainted to show they were cleared of land mines... or not. On our way back, we came through the Shomali Plains -- near the U.S. military base at Bagram -- which have been cleared of mines, so we decided to go for a little frolick in the vast white expanse of calm.