Wednesday, November 25, 2009

winter is coming

Snow is already tinging the mountains around us.

The first sign... See the mountain right in the middle - the one that you can't see too well - that's because it's covered with snow! (October 30th)

Autumn happened here last week. The color was yellow - for one day - and then the leaves fell.

And now winter is coming and Kabul is getting prepared.

Here's what the roses looked like when I came here in August.

Now they've been trimmed to the ground.

The earth's been turned.

The trenches dug - to catch the water from the melting snow (taken at the new campus) .

The snow's getting closer. (November 8th)

Winter is coming.

I've started feeding the birds.

Here are some tree sparrows (Passer montanus). They're on the balcony outside my room.

I also get some doves that I haven't been able to identify and magpies. I've never seen a magpie before, but they're quite common here.

On the street, we see men mixing mud and straw...

and then adding another layer of it to the flat roofs.

Finding warm clothes is problematic. I'm glad I brought gloves.

Those are heavy, heavy wool blankets folded and ready for sale on the left. We were all issued one in August. I was glad when my Charleston-perfect comforter arrived. I think the warmth of that heavy wool will be welcome soon.

Fuel - all kinds - is appearing on the streets. Coal and charcoal and kerosene...

And wood.

And, for many Afghans, fuel is whatever burns and is available. Like tires.

And sewage. From the trash: burnables?

And dung. Dried, it doesn't smell, provides substantial heat and it's free.

Plastic is appearing on windows at the guesthouses. Heaters have appeared in the bathrooms. The AC/heaters have all been serviced.

I liberated an electric heater from the stockroom for my office. The boiler has been cranked up.

The electricity goes off at least once an evening between 5 and 10 due to the extra load for heat. Not for long, just enough to be an inconvenience. No one panics; no one looks for candles - just wait and it'll go back on. Even when it's not a blackout, there are brownout situations all evening where the lights go down to barely see-by level. But then they're up again.

This diesel-fuel powered heater appeared this week downstairs; there's a second one in the 'living' room.'

We're in good shape, us Internationals; if the power goes off and there's no heat , the guesthouses all have backup generators. Many Afghans don't have generators.

The refugee camps don't have generators either.

And here's a November sunset.

Today (Nov. 25) is about 40 F...I'm off to Dubai for Thanksgiving and for some walking by myself.

I won't be wearing a head scarf!

1 comment:

  1. Have a very Happy a turkey dinner a possibility?