I’ve spent another day in the Turquoise Mountain Foundation restored 19th century fort. We’re not staying here because of any security situation but we find it hard to leave here as there are so many fascinating artisans and craftsmen working for the organisation, with so many interesting stories to tell.
Traffic is town was apparently pretty horrendous as well as some streets were blocked off due to a funeral for some of the Parliamentarian’s killed in the bomb in northern Afghanistan a couple of day’s ago. Apart from the traffic, you know something important is going on in town when you hear and see the helicopter gunships flying around.
Despite some of the tragic stories we hear from some of the people here, it is really refreshing to hear stories of hope and encouragement for the future in Afghanistan rather than the war led stories you always hear back home. There are so many people here happy to see the real possibility of employment and earning a reasonable living for a change after the constant bombardment and tragedy of the previous few decades of war. A recurring story is how many of them have fled to other countries, in particular Pakistan, and are happy to be able to return to their homeland. The population of Kabul was reduced to around 4-500,000 during the wars and is now between 4 and 5 million.
Tomorrow we are escaping Kabul for the day to head a few hours north to Panshir Valley. We also hope to see a traditional game of ‘buzkashi’, which is erm, a bit like polo, but using a goat or calf carcuss! On the way there is also a tank graveyard where I hope to take some shots if we can get close.