I’ve received several emails from blog readers wondering why I’ve gone silent. For the past two weeks I have been working in remote provinces where internet connectivity is either non-existent or limited. I plan to resume my daily post and catch you up on all my travels as soon as I get back to my home base.
I can still remember our first family piggy bank. It was a tall plastic lion. For a couple of years Jennifer, Brian and I saved our pennies, nickles and dimes in that bank for a trip to Disney World. Mom and Dad covered the lion’s share (No pun intended) of the trip to Disney, but the weekly drop in the old lion bank was an important lesson in the fundamentals of banking. Earlier today I ran across these boys and their mule on a dirt road southern Laghman. I stopped to ask boys what they were carrying. Our interpreter explained that the boys were transporting homemade piggy banks made of clay. Oh, the ole savings and loan. This picture is priceless!
I continue to be amazed at how hard the young boys work in Afghanistan. By the time a boy is seven to eight years old he is called in to provide much-needed labor for the family and village. American kids should count their blessings they don’t have to work so hard at such a young age. These kids don’t get much of a childhood. Manhood comes very early for them.
I’ve seen all kinds of wildlife in Afghanistan. But today is the first time I’ve seen turkeys. I can’t wait to eat a big Thanksgiving turkey with Janie and the kids when I get home. Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!
It doesn’t take long to see that the land in Laghman is a lot more fertile than down in Kabul. The green fields are a sight for sore eyes. I guess you could say the grass really is greener on this side of the mountain.
It appears that no matter where you go in Afghanistan, the children like to have their picture taken. They love to see their picture on the camera screen. I met this group of children in a remote village located about an hour south of Mehtar Lam. As you can tell from the photo, the kids love seeing themselves on the screen. In unison they will say, “Mister, Can I see my picture?” For most of them this is the first time they’ve seen a picture of their face. Can you imagine not knowing what you looked like?
Tomorrow is the start of school for kids living in Lexington County, SC. It’s also a tough day for my family. I won’t be there to take Jordan to her class on the first day. I love being there to snap a photo of her walking into the school building and having her pose for an embarrassing picture at her new desk. Janie and I have a great collection of first day of school pics of Jordan. I hate I can’t be there for Jordan to share in the excitement of this annual event. Jordan, I’m sorry baby! Tomorrow is also Tuck’s first day in public school. He starts kindergarten. That one hurts too. Not only is my little man getting older in my absence, but he’s starting school without me. No one can truly understand the pain that comes with missing these important life events. I will never get them back. I will never be able to share in the memory of tomorrow with them. More importantly, Jordan and Tuck will never forget the day their Daddy missed their first day of school in 2010. Oh, the guilt! War is truly hell for the families that sacrifice to fight in them.