It’s Friday evening here, and I have spent the whole day at the PARSA office, working on redoing the MEPO website. SOON, it will be up, this week for sure. It’s been fun to do it with new pictures and new information, etc, but I have missed spending a relaxed Friday at the House with the kids.
The older children have also been producing some beautiful work. Ramin made a large map of Africa gluing down lentils as the country borders, rice to fill in the countries, and labeling the country names using a thin stream of henna (brown dye). The older girls made models of things they were studying: the Eiffel Tower, a home in Peru, and kaaba in Mecca. It’s the kind of work that could be found in any Montessori classroom.
Today it feels like fall; the sky is a deep gray, it’s cold and the air smells like dusty fallen leaves. It rained a chilling rain. Despite the weather, there was the delicious Friday brunch held at PARSA which attracts local expats, and it was quite strange to be around so many of them suddenly. I did happen to meet the very kind people, David and Ronnie, who had given part-time jobs at their microfinance project office to Waheed and Basir, the older boys at the House of Flowers. What was so neat was how the man David described Waheed. He said, “You know, he comes and greets me more maturely than many who are years older than him. He just has this confidence about him. He seems so comfortable with himself, and even with me.” Waheed has been with the House since he was 6 or 7, and now he’s 15, so to hear such praise was a wonderful affirmation of how he had grown up. Here is that beautiful picture of him with Shekib that I mentioned earlier:
Tomorrow we will be going to the Kabul Museum – everyone! I had suggested that maybe just the older ones could go and the younger ones to the zoo on another day. But the little ones were so disappointed, even 4 year old Ramin, that the staff couldn’t bear it and Fahim said we should take everyone along! So, tomorrow 33 children from age 4 to 18, and 5 adults, will pile into some sort of vehicle and go learn about the history of Afghanistan at the famous Kabul Museum! I think it’s also terrific that it’s free for the kids, if we bring an official organization letter. (They have a nice website if you’re interested: http://www.nationalmuseum.af/)
Next week is a big holiday, it’s Eid-e-Ghorban. I think that’s the one commemorating Abraham almost sacrificing his son Isaac until God stops him. It will be 3-5 days of holiday, but no one is yet sure when it starts, b/c they have to wait for the official religious word on the timing. Anyway, it means our second week of Montessori training will be a bit discombobulated, but we will do our best. I leave just a few days after that, so the third week of training is quite uncertain. But Fahim, Fatima and Qudsieh are completely committed to carrying it through, and I know they will. Now that I have figured out how to upload pictures, here is one of Fahim giving a lecture on the Montessori planes of development. If you look closely at the board you can see where he’s written 0-6, 6-12, and 12-18.
I don’t want to think about leaving Afghanistan though. The thought leaves me cold. Right now I have trouble imagining being anywhere else.