Friday, October 28, 2005

Home awaits

My time here in Afghanistan is quickly drawing to a close and while I have enjoyed it, for the most part, I am quite looking forward to returning to Vancouver. I had contemplated trying to stay overseas and had applied for jobs in Sudan and here in Afghanistan, but these living conditions have really gotten to me (I've been sick for the past while) and frankly, I miss my friends and my life back in BC. I want to dress up in fancy clothes and not have to worry about getting them dirty. I want to be able to have more personal space than a 6' x 8' cell and I want to be able to go further than 2 square kms. I would have loved to have seen some of this country while I was here but because of security precautions, that isn't possible. I've seen pictures of the central part of the country from some of the Americans and there are beautiful lakes and waterfalls! Not something you ever expect to see in a war-torn dusty country.

I have also decided to apply for my co-worker's job at the college which could mean more money and a more comfortable life. I might even learn to stop spending so frivolously and not live paycheque to paycheque. Ok, who am I kidding, that's never going to happen. :)

Anyway, my time here has been memorable and I've met some very cool people. I only have one month left and then it is on to Cambodia and Vietnam with my friend Andrew for 10 days. Right now, the prospect of an amazing holiday is one of the things keeping me sane.

Hope all is well with you and I look forward to seeing most of you when I return to Canada.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Yesterday morning at around 9am I experienced my first earthquake. I was standing in the middle of the office and suddenly started swaying. At first I thought it was just me because I had taken some cold meds that morning and wasn't feeling totally with it, but then Val, my co-worker, yelled, "Earthquake!" We assumed it was just a small local tremor but this morning I woke up and discovered that 18,000 people were killed in Pakistan in a quake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale. It's very bizarre to have experienced something that had such a devastating impact and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it.

My thoughts are with everyone trying to recover today.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I know, I've been woefully negligent but I finally have the time (and motivation) to update this thing.

I've been back on camp for about three weeks and things are slowly progressing towards camp closing. My department is down to two of us which will make things pretty insane when we have to start clearing out masses of people but I'm sure we'll manage. Life here is pretty much the same as always although the temperature at night has dropped significantly. I can still wear shorts and t-shirts during the day (for the most part) but night requires jeans and a sweater. It definitely makes sleeping nice though.

My trip home was nice and I enjoyed the few days I spent in Dubai. During my two days there on the way home I went to the giant City Centre mall and did some shopping as well as met a fellow CANCAPer for dinner and a tour around the gold souk. There I bought a necklace in white gold that is my name in Arabic. And it was only $100 US! The flight home was pretty uneventful and my two weeks in Vancouver were pretty low-key. The highlights were my mom visiting, Matt & Susan's wedding (before which I badly injuring my foot by taking a little tumble down some stairs), a get-together at Emma and Laurel's, and a day trip to Seattle with E., L., and Brooke. Then I hopped back on a plane for the long flight to Amsterdam. Once back in Amsterdam I went into the city and took the tram to the Rijksmuseum to see some amazing Dutch art. Saw three Vermeers and a whole lot of Rembrandt as well as plenty of other Dutch masters. Going back to Afghanistan I had another day in Dubai which I spent at the Ibn Batutta mall (INCREDIBLE!) with Sarah and Sergei (friends from camp) and after we went for dinner at a Lebanese restaurant in the Dubai Marina hotel. Then it was time to leave for the airport and when we got there we discovered that our flight had been delayed for 5 hours. So we spent from 4am to 11am lounging in Terminal 2 in Dubai. Unfortunately, it's a small terminal and the only thing exciting was duty free. It was a long day to say the least.

So, I'm back "home" and getting ready to leave. My departure date is sometime mid-November so right now I am trying to plan my trip to Southeast Asia. I'm thinking of taking three weeks and seeing parts of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Some people here just got back from Cambodia and Vietnam and it sounds amazing so I'm quite looking forward to it.

That's about all the news I have so I'll sign off here. Hope all is well back in Canada and remember to keep in touch!

<3 C.