Saturday, October 22, 2011


First off, we have only two weeks until fall break! We're going to Thailand with some other staff. I can't wait, but you'll hear about that later.

It's been a good month (and a little more) since we've blogged. I keep trying to convince L to blog, but he's busy with work. It's been too long, so he just told me to do it. Before I tell you about yesterday's trip, here are a few things from the past month or so:
1. It's getting cold here.
2. I have seen two rainbows (one today!!) about a week apart here. Rain is rare, but this year it has rained. AND, we've been reminded of His promise - even here!
3. We went to the mil*tary base and went to a bazaar. so awesome. We also met a friend and got a tour. :)
4. We're having food cravings like nobody's business. (Sweet Cece's, Chick-Fil-A, McDougal's, Chipotle, Cheesecake name only a few!)

Anyways...Our entire staff was invited to a private garden outside of K-town. The man who invited us is very wealthy, and a friend of a national teacher. He's also high up in the phone company the staff uses. First, we went on about an hour drive out of the city to another province. He sent vans to pick us up, and had us escorted with armed guards the whole way. It was so nice getting to go outside of the city. Things look different. Yes, it was still dusty and pretty barren at times, but we did get to see some TREES! We actually got to see some fall color. Everyone in our van was in awe when we drove by yellow and orange trees. Fall is my favorite, and this made my fall. I feel like I can make it through the season now. Those of you who are surrounded with beautiful fall leaves, please enjoy it for us. Don't take it for granted.

When we got to his garden, we were all taken aback. It was breath-taking, literally. I have never seen so many cameras pop out at once. Everyone just started clicking away. They had toe-shacks and rugs set up under a big yellow tree, and they served us breakfast there. Special Afg*an tea, chicken, naan, cookies...the works. We got to walk around freely (with no chadar) and just enjoy the flowers/colors. It rained while we were there. Usually, you would think this would ruin an outdoor event, but it just made it more enjoyable. We hung out under the big tree or in the pavilion and listened to the rain. I am so thankful for that experience.

After breakfast in the garden, we headed back to K-town to go to his house for lunch. There is a lake along the way. Many of the staff who have been here had never been there, or hadn't been in years. We went on a big bridge over the water, and got out and took some pictures. Oh, and it was right next to the K-town Golf Course. Oh, yes, nine holes of good ole' K-town dust to golf on. :) I don't know if I was more nervous because of my fear of bridges, or the attention we drew to ourselves. Anyways, it was awesome to see, and to try to soak in the memory of it.

At this man's house...or should I say mansion...we got to relax and take a tour. He has a private gym, two kitchens, a movie theatre, a sauna, and a fabulous roof. We ate local food, which I can take or leave most times. Pepto Bismal is always on hand in those situations. They cooked us lamb that they had just killed (with the head still on), and turkey (not your average Thanksgiving turkey). The spicy macaroni was my favorite part, and the fruit pie for dessert. Eating on toe-shacks and always being checked on to see if you need more food or fruit or tea or, or, or...It's humbling to be served so much.

We went out and took some pictures from his roof. It was really messing with me while I was up there. He has this immaculate home, but right outside of his gate is a tent city. One of the Afg*an tribes is set-up in tents with donkeys and goats roaming and eating trash. The children are washing clothes in the mud puddles. As we pulled on the street for his house, we passed acres of refugee camps filled with the same. As I saw those children, I just kept hearing "they are beautifully and wonderfully made," over and over again in my head. These are people just the same as you and I. I wish I could get some people to see and understand that. Yes, situations are different, but these are people. They are loved and cherished by God just as much as anyone else.

All this to say, A-stan is beautiful. And, this weekend was such a blessing. God knows what we need, and just at the right time.

Once again, the photos won't load on here. Check facebook for photos from the weekend.