“This mountain, the arched back of the earth risen before us, it made me feel humble, like a beggar, just lucky to be here at all, even briefly.” – by Bridget Asher, The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted
It’s my final moments in Afghanistan before heading back home to Belgium, and I must say I’m feeling a little melancholic….This journey has been so wonderful and I have a strong sense that I’m not done yet. I always felt a big draw to Afghanistan and it took me quite a while to get here. And in a weird way it proves to be a place that fits me. I fell in love with it’s glorious mountains, I love the countless stars in the sky, the call for prayer in the air when the sun sets… And even though there is so much hardship, so much brutal violence and a war that has been raging in this country for over 30 years now, I feel rather comfortable here. Is that because of all my experience in Pakistan, Iran and my other travels? Is it my yoga practice and the fact that mentally I feel very strong and fit…? I don’t know.
I’ve met some incredible people on this journey. Often without speaking a word, like auntie in Badakshan. Or the old man in a small village in the mountains that kept trying to have me eat the chicken and pushed the meat towards me gesturing to eat more. The soldier Mohammad Hakim who told me about his time in the Taliban prisons… I don’t want to sound like a romantic that has avoided the huge problems this country has. Documenting these issues, especially those connected to violence against women and the challenges women face here were the reason I came here in the first place. I’ll share the work I’ve been doing later when I’m back home and you’ll be able to see. Here now though, a few more snapshots and quick impressions of my month here. It’s goodbye for now but I know I’ll be back soon, so farewell it’s not.