Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Yesterday was my best day yet in Kabul, Afghanistan. And I needed a good day because coming back after being home for my dad's unexpected funeral, I haven't been so excited to return to work. But I am my father's daughter and work is what he would do to get away from it all, so it is what I am doing. So yesterday Ambassador Eikenberry did a tour of Kabul with a reporter from the Washington Post. We visited Bagh-e-Babur gardens (picture to the left is at the tomb of Babur) and then sat down in the former greenhouse-cum-teahouse for ice cream. Then we traveled to the Kabul Zoo to visit the "safest pig in the world" who lives at the zoo. His pen is under construction so right now he lives in a mud pit next to an old house on the zoo grounds. After that we drove around town to a market, took in a few shops, talked to a few Afghans, and then sat down at a great Afghan restaurant. And not one of the usual places we go that is frequented by ex-pats, journalists and security types, but a real Afghan restaurant. And the food was good! The ambassador was relaxed and obviously enjoying his last chance to talk to Afghans, ask questions about the progress and challenges they see, and just spend a little time in Afghanistan away from the all the trappings of the embassy.
He departed today and we are in a real period of transition. It leaves you with a sense of uneasiness, so many new faces, uncertainty about how we will proceed, and a lot of work to get through to lay the foundation for the team coming in - but for one day I was able to see Kabul "almost" as if I lived there outside of the embassy - and it was a great day.
at 2:02 PM