Friday, November 28, 2008

Heading Home

It's difficult to believe that a year has come and gone, however it must have because I'm sitting in Kuwait on my way home from Afghanistan. I thought last year's Thanksgiving would be the weirdest ever--Safeway's turkey dinner from a cardboard box with my parents, the ward missionaries and a couple of friends in my empty apartment that I had moved into storage the weekend before--but I think Thanksgiving in Kuwait is one for the books. Dinner was good twice, both for lunch and supper. And then three of us women traveling together played pool in MWR for an hour and afterwards watched a Cary Grant movie. Ah, Thanksgiving will never be the same again, thankfully.

A lot has happened this past year, some of it I can talk about and other parts I can't or don't really want to remember, but over all I'm really glad that I had this experience. I learned so much about myself, other people and a new place in the world. I'm sure that I will be using my experiences and learning from this past year for the rest of my life. My biggest hope coming into this was that I would help to make a difference in the world and I feel that I have.

Everyone has a role to play and even the person in the back corner of the stage must play their role well in order for the whole production to succeed, at least that's what every play director says to their cast. It may seem cliche but it's true. I was not the one out in front making decisions or going outside the wire everyday, but I supported the people who did those things and tried to make sure they had less to worry about.

I think our team did make a difference. The Farah Provincial Governor Ahmin said this a few weeks ago, "Peace doesn't have feet. It's up to us to bring it here. Peace doesn't have a voice. It's up to us to speak for it." He summed up our purpose for the past year and our ultimate goals in Afghanistan beautifully. We are hoping for peace, working for peace and in some cases giving up everything for peace.

One day while at lunch we were eating bananas, a rare treat in Farah. One of our intrepeters told us that during Taliban times bananas were not allowed in some places. We asked why. He said, because in order to eat a banana you must take its skin off, making it naked. We laughed thinking he was joking and then realized he was serious. Think about that the next time you peel a banana.

The steps to peace are small in Afghanistan, but not insignificant. There is hope and peace will one day have a strong, supported voice there.


P.S. Okay, totally off subject: My mom fell down a flight of stairs at home a few days ago and broke her collar bone, some bones in her face and cracked a couple ribs. Thankfully, no brain damage and so far no surgery is needed because all the bones stayed together and didn't separate. However, as you can imagine she is in a lot of pain. Hopefully, she was able to leave the hospital on Wednesday. Please keep her in your prayers as she recovers. Thanks.

See you all soon at home in the U.S. Much love, Christine