Friday, January 22, 2010

Street guys

Here's what you see a lot of on the streets of Kabul - men hanging out.



That's a wedding car - ready for the big day!


Sitting around.



Doing stuff.









Hanging out.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Taliban stalls project

The Taliban is not just fighting NATO troops for control of Afghanistan. It is disrupting the country's development by preventing the delivery of services to its citizens.

Here's one example:

A turbine designed for a hydroelectric project in Helmand province (Taliban territory) intended to supply electricity for southern Afghanistan may never be installed. In August, 2008, the turbine (220 tonnes) was dragged by 2,000 British troops on a five-day convoy through enemy territory. The project has been put on hold, however, since the huge amounts of cement required to install the equipment cannot be delivered safely. NATO has been unable to secure 30 miles of road against Taliban attack for the length of time needed to move the cement.

The parts have been inventoried and stored away until a better time.

Kajaki Dam


Friday, January 15, 2010

Lest I forget...

NATO surveillance blimp - tethered here in Kabul.

This is not Charleston, SC.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

'home' in Kabul

After travelling for 3+ weeks over the holidays and suffering several rough spots and at least one cosmic meltdown, I was glad to be back.

Bed buddies.

I brought cuttings of these succulents from the States. They languished in a plastic bag in my lost luggage for 7 days until I could 'free' them. My room and one other are on the 3rd (top) floor. We share this patio, which extends across the front of the house.

And that's it - my place: a room in a guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan, 2010.

update - crackdown on corruption

Back in early December I relayed the story of the conviction (and sentencing) of the mayor of Kabul on corruption charges, his refusal to vacate the position and the inability of the Afghan government to decide who was responsible for removing him.

On January 4th President Karzai fired the mayor. A civil engineer has been appointed to fill the position. A spokesman told AFP that the dismissal was not linked to the conviction. "No, it has nothing to do with the court case, the president just wanted to have a new and capable person in the job."