A lot has happened since my last blog entry. My trip to Delhi went exceedingly well in way I never imagined. The girl who I had just met at the time of my last entry (Chitra) is now my girlfriend, and I will be shifting to Delhi for two to three months!
In Delhi we did end up going to Chitra to Elevate and then the three of us (me, Chitra, and Sanaa) hung out the next day and went to an excellent R&B club in Vasant Vihar, and me and Chitra decided we were a couple. Soon I found myself extending my stay by another week.
Upon arriving back in Kabul we tried to work out my visa paperwork, but it was more complicated than before. In order to get a working permit, we have to conven our board of directors to clarify that we can hire foreigners in our charter. This isn't very difficult or unreasonable--it's simply a matter of following the steps--but there's no way it would have been done before my one month tourist visa (which I got in Delhi) expired. So we came up with the decision that I will work from Delhi for the next two months while this gets straightened out, which also conveniently allows me to spend some time with Chitra!
With housing prices in Delhi being what they are, I should be able to get a very nice place with all the amenities. One amenity which I will be getting for the first time in my life will be air conditioning, which is essential now that the temperatures are consistently topping 40 degrees there.
My last weekend in Kabul is proving to be very pleasant as well. One of the higher-ups from Nathan's NGO, the COO, came to town and we spent the day touring various attractions. First we went to the OMAR (an organisation which clears landmines) mine museum, which has a collection of old military hardware. All of this was illuminated by Azim, Nathan's driver, who was conscripted out of high school by the communist government to fight the mujahidin. Azim also pointed out who controlled which hilltop during the worst of the fighting (from 1992-96). Basically all the warlords in Kabul (Dostum, Hekmatyaar, and Mas'ud were the main players) controlled various hilltops and spent the four years before the Taliban took over trying to dislodge each other from them (to give you an idea, Kabul consists of two big plains, with about three huge mountain peaks in the middle, and the northern plain also has about five major mesas interspersed upon it). With warlords such as Hekmatyaar firing up to 2,500 poorly guided, Pakistani-supplied rockets a day, one can see how the city emptied quickly and got to its current state.
After the museum, we went to Babur's tomb (Babur was the descendent of Timur who founded the Mughal state in India), which is surrounded by pleasant gardens filled with picknicking families. It has been restored by the Agha Khan Foundation, which has faithfully planted the garden with Babur's favourite trees like fruit trees and sycamores. After that we drove around the bombed- and burnt-out hulk of Darulaman Palace. All and all it was a very nice tour on a very nice day.