A friend e-mailed me with some comments about my previous post and the security/infrastructure situation in this country. The thing about the situation here is that security is so dependent on the rest of the infrastructure. If you can't get places fast, you have to have a large police force, which has its own issues. I mean, the U.S. really doesn't have a large number of police officers, because the infrastructure is capable enough to allow quick access to areas. But here, the city was never designed for roads, and so traffic bumps along on tiny roads built for 400000 people when there are 3-5 million in the city.... it's such a complex situation, you put one piece in and then another one won't fit. Further, I think that there are a number of regional issues going on that we don't fully understand, between the locals in the south of the country and many of the other ethnicities here. I think there are also struggles along the urban/rural divide.
I was reading, earlier today, a New York Times piece about some horrific things (WARNING - DISTURBING CONTENT IN THAT STORY) that are happening right now in the Congo. It reminds me of how far human depravity can go if left unchecked. It is not a pretty reminder, but it is a thing than is happening in our world today. Even so, come quickly.
I may have previously said this, but I've got this consulting gig I'm working on, designing a website for a local company which is owned by a parent of some of our students. I'm really not a web design guy, and I feel really inadequate to do this. I'm not entirely sure why I agreed to do it, but hopefully it turns out ok. I'm getting some gear out of the deal, so it should be good.
I had a meeting about it last night, and they invited me out to eat afterwards at a four star restaurant. Other people have said about going to this place that they feel like they're leaving Kabul. I didn't exactly feel like that, but it was definitely a far cleaner, far more... western place than anywhere else I've been in Kabul outside of the school. I really did not look forward to this part of the adventure, however, because part of the culturally and mannerly required thing to do is engage in small talk. And since I can interact with folks from my home country so well, imagine how I would do with people that don't pronounce my language in a fashion that I can quickly understand, and are from a culture I really don't have a lot of knowledge of. Fortunately, the conversation was fairly stimulating about some of the issues facing this country, and some of the cultural and social things that go on and should change. I was still not thrilled about the whole experience, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
We had a guys meeting tonight, and a number of us shared how we're feeling under the weather in many different ways. One of the guys has a knee that is badly swollen and can hardly walk, and has also been facing other trials recently. Another couple of the guys are having some school-related situations that make them frustrated. One of the guys is having difficulties with his wedding situations. I personally have been fighting a bout of depression, some about my feelings of inadequacy about this consulting/website job, some about things happening in this country that I feel powerless to affect, some about people I miss, some about things back home I've heard about, some about other things going on with me here. It is, for me, both frustrating and appropriate that some of the things I'm struggling with are things that I thought I would leave behind in coming here, which is something that one of the other guys shared tonight he also was dealing with. However, in this time, we also recognize the growth that is being brought about through .
There's more I would but won't say about... life. Really, it is going pretty well, which makes the depressive phase all the more a struggle. Fall Break comes for us in two days, and while I have plenty do scheduled during our week off, I also plan to spend some time on the roof. While this is kind of literal, in that I do plan to jump on my wall up to my roof again, it's also figurative in that I intend to spend some time up and looking around, surveying what has been happening with me and with .
I wish to like a child, not unquestioning and with a lack of understanding, but totally dependent on my Father.
If you would, remember Joel and his knee the next couple of days. It's really painful for him and causing him problems sleeping. We've got break coming up, and it would be really good for him and his wife if he can be around to go a couple places and relax instead of sitting on a bed or couch in pain.