One of the things I am immensely grateful for is that my parents travelled, so when I was growing up I generally travelled with them. Consequently I have been very lucky to visit countries that have given me a tiny insight into different cultures and ways of living, as well as experiencing different food, seeing amazing architecture and learning how to survive long distance flights without actually killing anyone (ear plugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste and LOTS of chocolate).
The place that I look back on with the most fondness as well as being somewhere that I remember frequently, for many reasons, is Pakistan. My father had a friend who lived there and we went to stay with him and his family for two weeks, in the North Western Frontier Province.
This was the first (and last) time I stayed in a Muslim country and I can still vividly recall the sound of people being called to prayer echoing around the valley and seeing women wearing a complete veil. Our hosts told me the women covered from head to toe in black were the most beautiful in the world and as a hormonal teenager I found this incredibly romantic. I can also remember how utterly hospitable people were. Pakistan had no tourist trade so we were ferried about by the driver for the local police who took us to private homes for refreshments; this inevitably meant a two hour stop as we would wait for them to catch their one chicken, pluck and then cook it and insist we ate all of it, despite it being their only source of eggs.
We also stayed in Peshawar for a couple of nights and it was a real eye opener. There were refugee camps, full of displaced Afghans fleeing the war with Russia; hundreds of people living in mud huts, queuing for food and support from the Red Cross. We were taken to the Khyber Pass where we had to cover our heads in case we were spotted by a Russian sniper who would try to shoot us in case we were Americans. It was hot, dusty and unremarkable.
I left Pakistan with a promise to stay in touch with the daughter of the family we stayed with in Peshawar and I think we wrote to each other a few times before this stopped. Oh the days before email and social networks!
So the events over the last few years have left me greatly saddened. But this is not what this post is about.
I saw on the news earlier today that there has been a landslide in Afganistan, not far from the Pakistani border where we stayed. A whole village has been covered in tons and tons of mud and earth and it is believed that over 2000 people have died. It could have been the village we stayed in but for a few hundred miles. Among the friendliest and kindest people I’ve met.
As is fairly usual for events so far away, it seems to have been under reported in the UK press; instead politicians bleating on about the police being politically motivated has taken centre stage.
Hence the unusual post, this is a bit of a change from my usual meanderings about fibre-y stuff. I don’t know what I want to do yet, maybe the profits from my next sale could go to the Red Cross, maybe we could all drop a pound into their collection tin next time we see one, for those of us with a faith maybe we could remember them in our prayers. Just please do something.

4 thoughts on “Afganistan

  1. MrG...... MrKnitting kitten!!!

    A prayer and a pound x not much to ask or give….. But both go along way and touch so many x

  2. Anne davis

    How lovely you are?! Not at all surprised at this blog! Prayers will help those who are left behind too. Red Cross is a wonderful idea. xxx


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