The question of “Why?”

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I had a very good friend comment to me about this blog, asking me to share more about myself.  Personally, I am not a shy guy; but I come from many generations of upper Midwestern Germans, where you apologize a lot, just in case you’ve offended someone.

And you DEFINITELY do not tell stories about something amazing and awesome that has happened to you, or things you’ve accomplished, because that is boasting, and no-one likes a braggart.

Well, I am prepared to take a deep breath, and explain about why I am doing this and how I got here.

Over the last three+ years, I’ve been living and working in Afghanistan.  Since the US Military and other government agencies have been active there since 2001, that’s really not that big of a story.  What is different about what I’ve done, is that most of that time, I haven’t lived on a Forward Operating Base (FOB) or traveled in convoys of large armored vehicles, armed with heavy weapons and wearing body armor.

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Because I haven’t been dressed like the Michelin Man in body armor, festooned with weapons, travelled in 20 vehicle convoys of Jawa-tracks like in Star Wars, I’ve had the opportunity to actually speak to, live with, and make friends with real Afghans, who aren’t just there to beg for goodies from the unending pockets of Uncle Sam.

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In fact, I’ve been shot at and run off the road by US and British soldiers because, as a bearded man driving a car on the road, I must deserve to be shot at and/or run off the road.  That perspective changes your attitude in a hurry.

I started this journey for unusual reasons, though.  Despite 26 years of military experience, and some farting around as a military historian, I had yet to have “seen the elephant”, despite enduring Saddam Hussein’s incompetent missileers and one half-hearted ambush during the opening days of the 2003 Iraqi invasion, I had yet to engage in one single engagement with “the enemy”.  Some part of me wanted to correct this deficiency.  So, when I heard from a friend that there was a private security contract that would hire me, pay a reasonable amount of money and would absolutely guarantee that I would “see the elephant” in as many gunfights as I could stand, I jumped at it.  So, I joined the US Department of State’s Poppy Eradication Force, and travelled to Afghanistan in early 2009.

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After a short stop in Kabul, they flew me down to Helmand Province, where poppy eradication was already underway.  And my wishes to face the enemy and exchange rounds was satisfied immediately.  Moments after landing, several rockets impacted in our immediate area and over the next 6 months, our eradication efforts resulted in almost two gunfights a day and several near misses with both IEDs and bullets.

It seems the Poppy producers don’t care to lose their valuable crop, so they would shoot at us coming in, and shoot at us going out, and try to blow us up with IEDs any time they could in between.

Two things stick with me from that.  First, I learned that not only did I do well during combat, but I found, shockingly, that I enjoyed it.  I liked the risk taking, the sounds, and the incredible feeling of exultation when sharp bits go zooming past your head and you are still alive.

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Detaining and interrogating suspicious guys near Gereshk

The second thing that I remember is what happened on March 11th, 2009, that would change my path.  On March 10th, we sat on a series of hills north of Gereshk, a town in Helmand, where we observed eradication operations.  During that time, we detained five individuals that we thought were acting suspiciously.  After searching and questioning them, we decided to let them go.  The next day, our Afghan National Army escort decided to go back to that same place to give away some leftover food from our mess, and they parked in the same place where we had parked the day before.

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After the explosion that obliterated their truck, we found the same five guys from the day before in a nearby building, and after a short, sharp firefight, we captured them.  Thinking about sitting on that IED for several hours the day before, and about letting go the guys who set it off, started me thinking about why I came there and what I was hoping to accomplish.

After a lot of soul-searching, I decided to sign up for one of the cultural programs that were currently going on.  And that is how I found myself wandering around Afghanistan, hanging out, talking to people and learning as much as I could and making friends with several Afghans and a few fellow traveller Westerners, including Afghan-Americans, Americans, and various Europeans of an assorted flavor.

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One thing I noticed, is the disbelief that most people we ran into about what we did and how we did it.  Soldiers looked at us with disbelief, and I was called a liar several times because “no-one goes out there without a convoy/security/etc.”. Talking to Americans who’ve never been to Afghanistan, I get nothing but Lassie looks from people when I try to explain what I do there, and I have finally given up and just tell people “I supported the Army”.

The truth is, there are very few Americans who have the slightest clue about how Afghans live their lives.  Especially the Americans who are stationed there, who only see Afghans in extremis, or in non-Afghan situations like on the FOBs. It is even more difficult to explain to my fellow countrymen about how much fun I had there, and what a lovely place Afghanistan is.  The purpose of this blog is to try to give people who cannot go there a picture of what Afghanistan is like.

Afghan kids are like kids anywhere, and Afghan parents love their children, and want their country to modernize, and want industry and the freedom to travel, so that they can see the rest of the world.  Afghans tend to like America, and its freedoms, but are annoyed at the heavy handed and inconsistent manner in which American non-policy is carried out.  But my point here is not to become a political pundit or to give lectures on American policy.  Other people (who are mainly dilettantes and wholly unqualified to run their ignorant yaps) have assumed that mantle.

And now, back to my entertaining and (hopefully) informing about my Afghan adventures.

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About hotmilkforbreakfast

I am a researcher, a writer, a former soldier, an academic and a lifelong learner. All text and pictures are copyrighted and are not to be used without express permission of the author.
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123 Responses to The question of “Why?”

  1. Mick says:

    Great thoughts and wonderful points. We have touched on the cultural thing before and share a similar mood about ” host nationals” and what they are really like. After living in the villages in a mud hut for a couple of years in Iran, I learned the same thing about those people who loved their families, friends and were loyal to the core. I just wish that some of the money that is spent in those countries could be used to educate our friends at home what life is really like and why it is important to garner support from the host national populace when we are “working along side them” in their struggle for a better life.

  2. Scribbler says:

    Fascinating post! Unfortunately, the inexperienced are often ignorant. I have always wanted to travel and immerse myself in another culture in order to learn more about that culture. I am happy that you are doing it and telling your experience along the way! Good luck!

  3. Melicus G says:

    Well done mate! People like you start the process of real peace and understanding between different races! Keep it up

  4. soumyajitdm says:

    One of the best reads I have had in recent times. Really well crafted. Will be checking back often to read about your adventures. Thanks for this post 🙂

    Soumyajit

    • Thank you for the kind comment and for reading. I look forward to publishing more of me and my friends’ adventures.

    • Exactly my thoughts. What a life you have had already, wow! Respect and admiration!
      And a very well written and reasoned article.
      I have not yet been to Afghanistan, although I have been to Iran twice. I once had a visa for Afghanistan already and wanted to visit Herat, but then I was arrested in Iran and had to spend a week in prison – http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/reports-about-my-trip-to-iran-in-junejuly-2009/ – which completely derailed my travelling plans.
      I will subscribe to your blog and I am curious to learn more!

      • Andreas, thanks for reading and the comment. On being arrested and spending time in prison in Central Asia, I’ve been picked up by the Afghan NDS (National Directorate for Security, kind of like Afghanistan’s Secret Police, if you will) and spent some time in prison/being interrogated. Oddly enough, I kind of enjoyed the experience. Not to go into detail, but as a life-long learner, I just disconnected my mind and evaluated the experience for the incredible opportunity it was. I hope you get to Afghanistan soon.

  5. Very interesting. My favorite part is when you said:

    “I liked the risk taking, the sounds, and the incredible feeling of exultation when sharp bits go zooming past your head and you are still alive.”

    I guess it does take a certain amount of almost-crazy adventure-loving spirit to do what you do. 🙂

    • Interesting comment. I discovered fairly early in life that I have something broken inside me. You know that cautious voice that tells you, “Hey, bud, this is really dumb and dangerous, better not do it”?

      Well, mine doesn’t really work. I can truthfully say my wife doesn’t appreciate that even a little, though over the years it gave me some very interesting experiences/stories….

  6. Pingback: The question of “Why?” | zeldalegacy.net

  7. Chekia says:

    Thank you for this.

  8. william wallace says:

    You’ve made friends with real Afghans whom aren’t just there
    to beg for goodies from the unending pockets of Uncle Sam…

    I would say that Afghans (real) don’t want Uncle Sam or be
    Uncle Sam’s soldiers in their country // and are not beggers.

    • That’s a fair point. But I was speaking to the perception of the folks we (Westerners) send there. They pretty uniformly see Afghans as ne’er do wells who are professional beggars/thieves. Which as you rightly point out, is just not true.

      I will dispute your second point, though. Most educated Afghans realize that their best hope of stability is Western military presence. I don’t know any Afghans who want it that way, though.

      There is also an ethnic thing going on here. Pashtuns generally don’t want outsiders there at all. Non-Pashtuns tend not to mind as much, as they see Westerners (mainly) as protecting them from Pashtun predation. That is, when non-Pashtuns aren’t preying on the Pashtuns in Pashtun minority areas.

      Afghanistan is way too complex to just say “Afghans don’t want Uncle Sam’s soldiers there”.

  9. I was captivated by your descriptions and observations, wanting to read more about your everyday life with the Afghan people. Understanding begins with education, which is what your blog offers. Thank you. Look forward to future blog posts. -Martie

  10. precisiontools says:

    Great read. A fascinating perspective that you don’t hear of every day. Look forward to future posts.

  11. Zok says:

    Photo #2 is Drew crossing the Paghman River in western Kabul, in order to explore if my driver could fall into the abyss of raw sewage. What a wimp! 🙂
    But, what Drew is doing on this photo is also a bit more important than me calling him names. He is transitioning from one ethnic neighborhood to another. Sometimes it takes not more than twenty feet to do so.

  12. danbohmer says:

    Congrats on the FP! Great job, both what you are doing and what you are writing. In most of our daily doings we would be much more effective if we accepted risk & ‘dressed down’. Unfortunately I don’t ever see that happening.

    I have a post in my drafts that I started writing a few weeks ago on ‘What is Afghanistan really like’ based on a conversation I overheard at the MWR in KAF…sadly funny…

  13. Nora says:

    Nicely said. Thank you for sharing.

  14. CJ Vali says:

    I have no experience with Afghanistan, but I did do three tours in Iraq as an Infantryman. I brought back some shrapnel, a bad back, some major hearing loss, random migraines, and mental issues. What I’m glad I brought back was my new understanding of Middle Eastern culture, and appreciation of other cultures that I know nothing about. Being a grunt in some very active cities, I spent more time during my first two deployments sleeping on floors of Iraqi houses than on FOBs. Most of the time we tried not to kick these folks out of their houses if we didn’t think we’d be in danger from outside attacks overnight. During my third and final tour in Mosul in 2009, our platoon lived among the Iraqi Army and Police about 1/3 of the time, attempting to train and mentor them. I didn’t live among them regular citizens like you’ve done in Afghanistan, but I did spend a great portion of those three years with them. It brought me an entirely new perspective on life, tolerance and appreciation of other cultures, and the things we Westerners take for granted. I saw that the entire country didn’t hate us and, often, those who were attacking us were doing so because someone paid them a few bucks for dropping an IED in the road so they could feed their family. I also realized that if more of us treated them right, much less of them would be attacking us. I learned not to take my contempt for “the enemy” out on the guy riding his bicycle down the road with a bag of that great bread in hi hand. I am a completely different person than I was 8 years ago when I first set foot in Baghdad. I give some serious props to you for going back there and living among them without the protection of an M-4, body armor and convoys. It shows them that some of us actually do care and some of us were there for the right reasons.

    • Thank you. And thanks for your service. I came from a very similar background, experience set as you. I had the good fortune to meet my friend, Rachel, whom appears in this blog, as she was and is my friend and colleague. She forced me to look at my views and reconsider them, and encouraged me to go and do things like this.

      • CJ Vali says:

        Thanks and same to you. I think what did it for me was coming home and listening to people talk so hatefully about these people who fed us and housed us on several occasions, because of the actions of a few bad seeds. Plus the insanely minuscule things people complain about on a daily basis here in the States because they haven’t seen any kind of living conditions even close to what we’ve seen. People are more concerned about American Idol or Real Housewives of blahblahblah. I heard a Vietnam vet talking about how sorry he felt for us Iraq/Afghan vets because in their day, the war was the news. Now, we come home to people more concerned about who Paris Hilton is dating than the 6 guys who died in a helo crash in Afghan yesterday. That’s 5th page news

      • Great comments, CJ. Thanks!

    • Zok says:

      CJ, it is people like you who make the difference. Thank you.

      • CJ Vali says:

        Thanks a lot. Unfortunately I wasn’t always like this but the military was a very eye-opening experience for me and has left me kind of bitter.

  15. Very touching post.Hope things will change for the better.Education is half way to success.Thank for your efforts.Regards.Jalal Michael

  16. JM Randolph says:

    Wow. I’d say you’re qualified. . . For whatever you choose to do. I’m happy to have stumbled across your blog and look forward to reading more. You have a strong voice that is speaking more clearly to me than all the political noise I hear.

  17. I am so looking forward to more from you, never get a chance to travel especially lately but when I did it was always the people who crossed my way that makes the trip all the more worth it.
    Thank you for sharing and taking the time to not only understand the people but reveal your findings through your gifted writing and photos.

  18. Amazing. Thanks for all you do! And gorgeous pictures, by the way.

  19. Wow and congrats on this post being freshly pressed. I know nothing of your experience but I have always suspected what you say to be true. Not much actually separates us on this planet and often these differences arise because we allow poverty to overcome people and then anyone promising anything can get in their heads (eg the impoverished families placing IED’s for food money). As for CJ up above me, I hope he settles and mends and as an Aussie I thank both of you for your valuable work. I’ll be back to visit. Regards PS:I may never have been to war but nor do I follow vacuous programs about Paris Hilton or the Kardashians. Yukky Yukky Yukky (that’s a joke for CJ)

  20. menapan says:

    Reblogged this on menapan's Blog and commented:
    Why has a Long way to go! It leads to so many answers

  21. I like your humour!
    I’m glad that you’ve been freshly pressed and your blog has been exposed to a wider public. I’ve lived in Pakistan and China (two of the countries which are most different from the UK, or my experiences of them) and fully endorse what you aim to achieve.

  22. Many people out there who believe that Americans are ignorant should come and read your blog. Looking forward to more of your posts! Please give em kids a big hug for me!

  23. ianreyno says:

    Amazing blog. Made me feel the whole place like I was there myself. BUT… while I appreciated your story, I was left hanging. Just how was a typical day like in Afghanistan? Like, more specifically? I wanted to immerse myself into it… I guess you were able to give a truly powerful intro. I need that rest of the story. I need to know and discover and understand who they are… What your best Afghan friend is like. Who your Afghan neighbor is, and what she likes doing. What normal things they do, to give me a clearer picture of them as freedom-loving, peace-embracing people. Please! 😀

  24. Thanks for an enjoyable and educational read, Drew. There’s a similarity in style and mood between your accounts here and those of Nick Danziger, who you may well be aware of. I also wanted to say that (and I presume much here – sorry), there was no way you could have known about that IED. Letting those guys go was the “right thing to do” in my opinion, because you had no evidence they had done anything wrong. Maybe that’s what is so bad about it. No amount of weapons skill, fitness or 20/20 vision could prepare someone for that scenario. A sobering thought.

    • I’m not sure of who Nick is. I’ll have to look him up and read more. And I still go over that IED in my head, over 3 years later. My intellect comes up with the same answers you give, but it’s more than an intellectual exercise.

      • I looked up Nick Danziger, and am impressed. I guess I’d seen his film on Afghan war orphans years ago, but never connected the name to the work. I would be happy carrying his shoes, much less being compared to him.

      • I’ve seen people die. I’ve seen family members and close friends die. I’ve skirted bodies in the street and watched bodies floating down river. You know how I feel about death? Nothing. But it has made me take a good hard look at who I am, as a human being, and just what that means. Humanity is better because I do my best. It is better because you do yours. You chose to embrace the better elements of humanity, and that is why this blog (and others like it) will be my mainstay here at WordPress. I also write this somewhat uneasily. Fearing to offend. Nor am I trying to pay lip service with these comments, nor pander to your ego. I’m writing these comments in the hope that others reading might feel encouraged to share their humanity.

        And to your second reply:

        Nick opened my eyes to the plight of the Kurdish people and, as an extension of that, made me realise I am ignorant of a great many things. I’m ignorant in that I chose for a long time to believe the media really wanted to inform the general public. Ask anyone where Kurdistan is.or who the Kurds are and I’ll wager you’ll get a blank look in response. This is in spite of the fact that everyone you meet probably has heard the name many, many times. People like Nick go where we are too apathetic to go. He shoots images of things we don’t want to see. He reminds us of what we’d rather forget. Lest we forget.

      • When I was last in Iraq, I was surrounded by Kurds; they served as linguist support to a school I was headmaster for. It’s hard not to like Kurds; they are also warm and interesting people. It is easy to take sides as well in interethnic conflict.

  25. dreamz infra says:

    Nice pic’s like it very much…

  26. foldedcranes says:

    Why is very interesting. As someone stuck in a career rut, and looking to move on into some worthy arena and make some kind of impression on some of the many problems the world is facing, I am looking at the “how?!”. If you’ve got time some day, I’d love a post on how… (impertinent of me to make a request, I know, but nothing ventured, nothing gained).

  27. Pingback: The question of “Why?” « Live, Laugh, Love

  28. Did you learn Dari and/or Pashto?
    I should be learning Farsi because my wife is Iranian, but I am so struggling with it.

    • I learned very broken Dari, which disheartened me. I used to be very close to a polyglot, and picked up language easily. But I had a serious brain injury in 1999 and that almost completely switched that part of my mind off. I “jist” very well, though, and can understand Dari, but not Pashto. Mostly, that gives me the opportunity to listen rather than speak, which is an advantage.

  29. I love this post. I think it’s great that you can give a different perspective to the world, other than that passed on from soldier experiences. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your blogs!

  30. storyfrontier01 says:

    This article is really cool, I enjoyed reading it, and think about what book on your adventures would be like. Thank you for posting this insightful blog.

    • Thanks. I looked at your blog and think I might start reading it as well. As far as writing a book, first things first. It took friends to kind of push me into starting blogging, and it will take a much larger push to actually write a book. I love to write, but don’t care for writing about myself all that much. We’ll see.

  31. shras789 says:

    I give you a lot of credit, that is like amazing

  32. It sounds like an amazing experience

  33. PS. Thanks for liking my post “In Heaven”

  34. Anarya Andir says:

    Lovely to read this post. I’ve always wanted to go to Afghanistan (primarily because of its ancient history) and it’s great to read it from the perspective of someone who is there. I have no doubt that given the present situation there, it must be very difficult to go around and that makes me sad because the country was once a really important one in history.
    Great photos and thanks for giving us a peek into what present-day Afghanistan looks like.
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Anarya, I agree with you on the importance of Afghanistan in ancient history. There are some who theorize that agriculture started there based on archeological evidence and the theory that the compartmentalization of the country by mountains caused normally pastoral people to settle down. In addition, it is rich in archeology. On the security situation; if you know someone who can help you navigate Afghanistan, it is relatively safe. But going in without some kind of top cover could lead to disaster.

      • Anarya Andir says:

        Like you said, a very important country historically. That’s also new information for me. I’d heard about people navigating Afghanistan with armed guards – but that did sound a bit extreme. Just out of curiosity – have you been to Bamiyan?

      • I’m sorry to say I haven’t been to Bamiyan. Since I was in Afghanistan for a purpose (i.e., to assist ISAF in cultural understanding) and ISAF is not interested in places where there is no conflict, and Bamiyan is peaceful, there you go.

      • Anarya Andir says:

        Oh, wow, I didn’t know Bamiyan was actually considered peaceful. I wonder how it would be like after the Buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban. Apparently Bamiyan (where the Buddhas once were, and the surrounding landscape) is supposed to be a sight and a half. If you ever do get to go there it would be wonderful to learn about your experiences :). What about the Minaret of Jam? Have you ever been there? I’ve heard however that there have been bandits over there in recent times.
        I’m sorry if I’m asking too many questions :/.

      • Bamiyan is quite peaceful. They have tourism there and everything. I’ve been to the Minarets of Herat and the Alexander’s Palace there, but I cam so close to the Minaret of Jam and didn’t even know it. Twice, actually. I didn’t start out an authority on Afghanistan and I still don’t consider myself one. I am striving to increase my contextual knowledge, but the knowledge base is huge and small at the same time for that country.

      • Anarya Andir says:

        That sounds incredible – that you’ve been to Herat and that you’ve seen Alexander’s Palace. How amazing. It just so sad that Afghanistan has so many wonderful things to see and I’m sure the civilians are equally welcoming and friendly. Have you written about the trip to Herat? I would love to read your experiences. Maybe I should check out your blog more :D. Shame you missed the Minaret of Jam twice – but I guess you may yet see it!

      • Anarya, I will write a story on Herat, next. You know, I was as much impressed by the Herat Sewer as by Alexanders’ Palace/Fort when it came down to it. When I was there, the Aga Khan Foundation was renovating the sewer, and even though it’s thousands of years old, it only took a good cleaning to get it working again. At least that is what I’m told. http://www.akdn.org/afghanistan_cultural_development.asp

  35. groovylove says:

    Well said, and an excellent read! I enjoyed seeing Afghanistan through your perspective, and I thank you for sharing it. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed as well, quite an honor!

  36. sammaye says:

    Damn, wish I could see Afghanistan. I agree about your political standing. I guess the biggest problem is that the soldiers only know the extremist view of Afghan society thinking that if they get to know the people their bodies will end up being dragged through the streets or something. So they never leave their barracks without the convoy and the Afghans don’t really like talking to a platoon of armed troops so they never really get to know each other. This of course is not helped by the fact that the Taliban do use civilian areas to hide and NATO do make mistakes (like bombing and kiling 27 children while chasing Taliban) and you get the odd physco supa trooper killing Women with his bare hands.

    But I agree there needs to be some education on how to deal with Afghan society and Muslim society in general, we don’t want a repeat of the Quoran burning do we?

    • Thanks for the comment.

      It’s a bit more nuanced than that. Soldiers get sent to soldier places to do soldier stuff. Whether it’s on the Forward Operating Base, which is pretty insulated from Afghan society, or out on some mission, which isn’t but often lets soldiers only see Afghans in negative images, neither one of which is the soldiers’ fault. It is risk averse leadership that keeps them from interacting.

      There are some new things going on that are different from that, but I’m not going to address those, though I think they are a step in the right direction, but about 10 years too late.

  37. “…I come from many generations of upper Midwestern Germans, where you apologize a lot, just in case you’ve offended someone.”

    I completely understand this behavior. I come from a German family that settled in NE Ohio 100 years ago and the traditions and tendencies run deep in the bloodlines. Thanks for pushing through it and sharing your experience with us.
    Allan

  38. Good for you, Drew! As an English Muslim, I understand and realise what you’re up against, when trying to get across to some narrow minded types that Afghans, together with Muslims and other people from the Middle East to Central Asia, are really quite normal human beings, with similar ideas, views and aspirations to ourselves. Thank you, I wish you all the very best! 🙂

    • And thank you, Paul, for reading, liking and the comment. In 2006, Gallup published a book about a multi-year poll they conducted among Muslims throughout the world, and their findings were that Muslims want pretty much what everyone else wants. I know it is shocking for some of the pre-loaded sloganeer types, but there you go. And my experience in Central Asia and the Middle East pretty much backs those conclusions up.

  39. shovonc says:

    Hope you have fun. Look forward to hearing more.

  40. My opinions are colored by the Vietnam era–as I am a Vietnam era Vet. I enjoyed reading about the work you do. In all the major wars the enemy was portrayed as being less than human. It’s hard to make war against people that are just a human as we are.

    • The funny thing is, most people don’t even understand who and what the “enemy” is. Afghans as a whole are not “the enemy”. Tribalism and an archaic way of life, combined with a bunch of misanthropic/misogynistic jerks are “the enemy”. There are, in Afghanistan, plenty of folks who righteously need to be made dead. Unfortunately, I think that shouldn’t be the focus of our (The West’s) attention there.

  41. Pingback: One & Done Sunday #21 | JM Randolph, accidentalstepmom

  42. Drew, I am so completely blown away by this story, by your story. Just stumbled upon your blog on the wordpress site, and am so glad I clicked on it.

    Over two years ago I went to Haiti for the first time and was with an organization, after 30 days I left it, deciding to live on my own for the most part and learn without the blindfolds on.

    “The truth is, there are very few Americans who have the slightest clue about how Afghans live their lives. Especially the Americans who are stationed there, who only see Afghans in extremis, or in non-Afghan situations like on the FOBs. It is even more difficult to explain to my fellow countrymen about how much fun I had there, and what a lovely place Afghanistan is. The purpose of this blog is to try to give people who cannot go there a picture of what Afghanistan is like.” We can change Afghans and Americans to almost any other two nationalities. Many of us don’t see how alike we really are.

    We have a proverb in Haiti, “tout moun se moun” and it translates to “all people are people”. You have a gift, you see this, please keep sharing, it’s beautiful.

    I wish you and your family health, happiness and much joy as you keep on living and learning. You now have another avid subscriber.

    namaste
    ~Molly MacKenzie

  43. ff0rt says:

    Great post. I’m Italian and we also participate to the war (we call it “peace mission”), but, generally speaking, we have little or no idea of the life of Afghan people.

  44. Roshni says:

    I loved your post! I’m someone who has always loved the idea of going to a war zone or some such place, be with people, feel what it is like to live on the edge, take risks and do something substantial. When I read this post, it was almost akin to reading something I’d like to experience someday. So good to know there are people like you who take up such projects voluntarily. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. You truly deserve it!

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