We Are. We Will. We Shall Not.

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There exists no human being who does not discriminate. There is no individual within  Homo Sapiens who does not exhibit or feel some bigotry or prejudice.

Racism is different. It takes thought. One must consider oneself superior based upon one’s own race (skin color in our age, economic status in another age, nationality in still other ages).

The Liberals who are protesting this election are exhibiting bigotry as we speak. They are, in effect, saying that the half of the Nation who voted for Trump are ignorant, befuddled simpletons.

Many Liberals and Conservatives acted out in this same manner during the whole of the Election season.

We’ve all done it. We’ll all continue to do it. It is human.

Discrimination and prejudice are most often naught but ignorance and fear of the unknown, the stranger.

We are human. We will always be human. We progress superficially but we remain in many ways the same Homo Sapiens creatures who ventured forth from East Africa some 50,000 years ago. We are the beasts who arrogantly dubbed ourselves “Wise Man” and  caused the extinction of our fellow Humans (Neanderthalensis among others known and unknown). We fear the unknown. That fear drives us to madness and we murder when in the realm of psychotic madness.

Nationalism, borders, political parties and the like are nothing but tribal associations writ large with pretensions of civility. Humans are anything but civil. We speak of the sanctity of life yet will go to war with the barest of provocations. We kill the unborn in droves. We speak of Liberty yet we incarcerate millions for daring to possess and/or smoke a nature provided plant that has actual healing properties. We are not fit for civilized society. It is the height of arrogance to suggest that we have ever been a civilized people.

We are unenlightened in the main. Brutal to the core. Distrusting and inhumane. Yet, we can be and have been beautiful, wondrous beings. The horror of war brings out the best in us.

“It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.”— Robert E. Lee, at Fredericksburg.

We are conflicted. We will remain conflicted.

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Nahida, Jalil an Wazir Ali ~ Last Visit

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It was the last time that I’ll see them.  A bittersweet moment that left me feeling a bit melancholy.

I drove over to the RHQ to see them one last time. I pulled in and saw them sitting out in front of their little store.  We waved to them as we passed into the RHQ. I had a little bit of business to conduct inside the RHQ.  I wanted to get some Certificates signed by General Ak to present to my guys on Thursday when we have our little Hail and Farewell.  Shoaib and I sat with the General for a bit.  He signed our Certs and we chatted for a bit.  He told me that he was going to get me a gift for Thursday.  We joked a bit and then said our farewells.

After that, we went and visited with COL Zahir for a bit.  He was all harried and had a cold.  So he was cursing everything and grumpy until everyone left his office.  We chatted for a bit and laughed and joked for a bit.  Then I had to get going.  I told my boss that I’d not be long out and about.

Funny thing.  Jonathan called me while I was there and cursed at me for being out so close to departure.  He doesn’t want to party alone in Dubai.  haha

Finally, it was time to see the kiddies.  We drove out of the RHQ and turned left into the parking lot where there family store is located.  I jumped out.  As I was pulling the bags out of the back of the SUV, Ali and Jalil came running over.  Nahida, reserved as usual, stayed by the door of the mud brick store which her father built.  I grabbed everything out of the SUV and carried it to the store.  I held out the Kangaroo bag and the Mickey Mouse bag to give the boys a choice as to their preference.  Ali chose the Kangaroo bag.  Ali picked the Mickey Mouse bag.   Next, I opened the big bag with all of the girl stuff that Unny, Orawan and Emmy had sent.

Odd to think that these items came from so far away.  Bangkok and Australia.  Such distance and worlds that couldn’t be more different than Afghanistan.

I took out the things in the bag and showed them to Nahida.  Her eyes lit up as I showed her the sandals that Unny sent.  She seemed to love the pajamas that were sent by Orawan.  The favored item, though, was what I’d forgotten in the SUV.  As I was showing her all of hair thingies, I remembered the Barbie Doll that was in my back pack.  I walked over and pulled it out.  The biggest smile I’ve seen on Nahida broke on her face.  I think that one really made her happy.  The pajamas ~ she loved them.  The shoes ~ Nahida didn’t want to hand them back to me so that I could put them back in the bag.  The Doll, though, she lit up and her smiled beamed as bright as Polaris.  It was a lovely moment.

Nahida doesn’t smile a whole lot.  She’ll break in a smile, but, it quickly goes away.  A flash of brilliance just as quickly vanished.  Seeing that smile come out for the Doll really made my day.  As I’m sure the Doll and assorted other goodies made her day.

As you can tell from the pics, I tried to get them to do that John Wall dance.  lol  Not too successful there.  But it was cute.

After we talked for a bit.  I told them that this would be my last visit.  They didn’t understand at first because Ali asked me when I’d be coming again.  So I pulled Shoaib in and told him to make them understand that I was leaving Afghanistan.  It was a little emotional  I knew I’d get a little emotional once I got to that moment.  I’m a little girly like that sometimes.  lol  I didn’t, however, think that I’d damn near start to cry.  It was funny for me.  Shoaib made fun of me a bit.  He teased me for looking like I was going to cry.  I told him;  “Hell, I couldn’t help it.  I’ve grown close to those cute little bubbas.”

I’ve been asked by a couple of people about adopting Nahida or Jalil or Ali.  The subject has been brought up with the father.  I asked about taking Nahida to the States to put her in school.  A fairly affluent couple from Scandinavia asked about adopting or simply sponsoring Ali and Jalil for European citizenship/schooling.  The Father will not do it.  It’s a shame.  Those kids could have a great life and excellent opportunities if their Father would allow it.  He said that he wants to keep his family together.  Who can blame him.  Not I.

The other side of that is that families are economic units in Afghanistan.  All of the children are earners of some sort.  Whether it be bringing in money for odd jobs or working the shop that their father built or begging on the streets.  They all bring in money to the family.  Lose one and the whole family loses money.  To lose three would be a fairly large dent in the family economic situation/ability to earn.  Even so, I know that he’s been offered money to allow the children to go outside of Afghanistan.

Whatever his reasons, Baba jan wants his family to stay together.

Last note.  I think Nahida thinks that Unny is as beautiful as I think she is.  She asked me for another picture while I was there.  So I gave up my last pic of Unny to her.  I’ll have to get more printed.  I like to look at Unny from time to time and see her brilliant smile.  I think I’ll take all of the pictures on my wall and have Shoaib take them to Nahida.  I’ve got them posted all around my room.  I’ll not need the pics for much longer as I’ll have her.

I hope the Gods watch over my little children here in Afghanistan.  I know I’ll think of them from time to time and wonder how they are.  I wish there were a way to keep in touch.  I will always feel blessed to have had these little people in my life.  Even for so short a time.  As I left, I gave the boys a big hug and swung them around one last time.  It’s taboo to do such a thing to Nahida, so, I just shook her hand.  I told them to take good care of themselves and to be brave and strong in life.

Khoda Hafiz Nahida, Jalil and Ali…

Beautiful

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She answered, “Beauty is that which attracts your soul, and that which loves to give and not to receive. When you meet Beauty, you feel that the hands deep within your inner self are stretched forth to bring her into the domain of your heart. It is the magnificence combined of sorrow and joy; it is the Unseen which you see, and the Vague which you understand, and the Mute which you hear – it is the Holy of Holies that begins in yourself and ends vastly beyond your earthly imagination.”

Then the Nymph of the Jungle approached me and laid her scented hands upon my eyes. And as she withdrew, I found me alone in the valley. When I returned to the city, whose turbulence no longer vexed me, I repeated her words:

“Beauty is that which attracts your soul, and that which loves to give and not to receive.”

A favorite photo

I met this little gal outside of Angkor Wat in July.  She was selling bottles of water and cans of beer and coke.  I stood and talked to her and was snapping photos of everything around me.  Later.  When I got to my hotel room and downloaded the photos.  I saw this one.  She is so beautiful.  Her face is full of wonder and life.  She is Cambodia.

Bangkok Beauty

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One of the many reasons that I love Thailand. I was walking to Thanon Khaosarn in Bangkok when I snapped this picture. I couldn’t resist. lol She was probably on her way to do some shopping. Lots to do in the area around Khaosarn Road which is the backpacker hangout. Shops, hotels, bars, restaurants and tons of folks walking around, hanging out, drinking, people watching, shopping, getting tattooed, hair weaves, planning tours to Vietnam, Laos or any of a hundred other destinations in Asia.

I was with a friend so I couldn’t pursue.

The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.
Rudyard Kipling