Things in Kabul have returned to a steady, pleasant, dependable pace. I accomplish my first major task here at Altai, which involved a presentation on construction materials markets in Afghanistan for the Capacity Development Programme of USAID. It was the smallest group of people I ever presented to! Not to say that that stopped me from talking more than my share. I can say now that I truly like my workplace and the people too. Before my next project starts tomorrow, I've had some time to catch up on much needed sleep and finally get settled for the first time in month. I finally moved into my new room in Guesthouse L'Atmo, which, like its name suggests is right across from L'Atmosphere restaurant. And it's conveniently on the same street as my office, which greatly simplifies my commute. I picked up my old stuff (that had not gone to India with me) from Lorenzo's place. Most important of this was a few books I've been wanting to read which include another anthropological work by Michael Edwards about honour and politics on the Afghan-Pak border and an English translation of Shahnameh (which I'm beginning to think would be pure laziness to read).
As my plan for world domination proceeds apace though, I've had some other additions and insights which have enriched my life in the last month. First I have to give props to Arzu and Mitra, my respective Aussie and Kiwi friends. Mitra's definitely proven herself to be one of the coolest people I know and alway down to sit down and humour me by listening to all most hopes and dreams concerning suitors of the opposite sex.
The other interesting occurrence has hit me from halfway across the world, and reaffirms my notion that there is more order in the world than we think. Some friends from DC might remember Jerusha. Every few months or so I've gotten to exchange a few emails with her, and before then in DC she was easily amongst the coolest people I knew, and someone with whom I've always felt a strong connection. Last month a few interesting things happened: I started hanging out with her friend Alison who is in Kabul, and I went to Mazar, where one of the most prominent local family's shared Jerusha's last name and therefore appeared on every other billboard. Just a few days later we ended up getting in touch and staying in touch much more regularly. Since, I've had the enormous pleasure of better getting to know someone who is unlike anyone else I know and a true example and inspiration. On top of all the great friends I have here, in India, in Europe, and in the States some people really stand out, giving you something to look forward to at the end of the day and an ear-to-ear grin. It reminds me how lucky I really am.
Nothing warms my heart and puts me in a good mood like strong personal connections, which leads me to more general (some would say goober-ish) thoughts on life and relationships. For the moment I'm enjoying my job, my life, and the moment.