Kabul day 7: Our day off

We had a very good nights rest. The work is tough – just like the week before our departure – and so we decide to take some time for ourselves, to start with a nice breakfast outside. It feels a bit like skiing: cold, bright daylight, lovely sunshine.

After updating our blog, Twitter and Facebook we decide to go on an expat investigation. We first go to “Ganjina”, the expat shop where products from Afghanistan are sold. It’s fairly busy on the Afghan Sunday. We look at all the products in the stores: everything is just breathtaking! As often in countries like this, a real designer’s heaven! We both fall for the beautiful garments made by the Uzbek in Afghanistan. Oooh – we’re wondering… they are so beautiful… can we take it in our luggage back to The Netherlands?

In the corridor between the shops we run into our contact Neeti of Oxfam Novib. It is a good opportunity to ask whether it is possible to take some pictures of Kabul. As we suspected, it should be done discreetly. No pictures of women or army vehicles and objects. We decide to take pictures from the taxi when standing still. And…the plan seems to succeed.

After spending quite some time in the shops, we go outside and notice a beautiful girl chatting to a friend. Since we are desperately looking for a model, we pluck up courage and start talking to her. Briefly we tell her about Crafting Peace and the idea for the photo shoot. She is excited about the idea and we exchange e-mail addresses. Hurray! So far so good!

After that we treat ourselves to a cup of tea in the “Hilton” hotel of Kabul. We reach the “fort” and actually find the entrance. The security is very strict because the Serena hotel is a place where the most influential people of the country and ministries stay and meet with the international communities. Last year, there was a bomb explosion in the courtyard, where expensive cars are now parked.

Our tea is lovely and we enjoy the warm surroundings. The atmosphere is in contrast to our own little fridge we call our hotel room. However, we feel strange to be in these surroundings in Kabul, with the knowledge that at the same time and in the same city people are shivering in a cold tent. Despite all this warmth and luxury, we are glad that we sleep in a hotel like ours. It feels more modest and fits better with the work we do. So a few more nights of shivering to endure.

Around 18.00 pm, tired of all the impressions, we return to our hotel. It was a beautiful day and we are fully charged for tomorrow. An important day!


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