Saturday, January 26, 2008

Guess Who's Back? And from Kabul, no less?


There's been a serious case of reticence here at the 2.0 these last few days, and for that I apologize. But there's a good reason for it, I swear! Don't believe me? Then check out these pictures of me gallivanting about places in Afghanistan that aren't named Bagram Airfield!

That's right, I left the comfortable confines of my daily routine here and headed south to Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. I traveled there to attend a conference with the United Nations Assistance Mission Afghanistan (UNAMA), the UN's main effort here in the 'Stan.

Before I get on with the post, a few notes about people who work for the UN.

1) They are all enormously articulate. Too articulate for their own good, articulate. Listening to them speak, I found myself questioning the mastery of the English language I'd always given myself credit for.

2) All UN employees speak in vaguely European accents. Of the two main dudes who spoke, I would have sworn that one was British and the other Scandanavian. Turns out that the one I thought was British is from Denmark, and the guy I thought was Scandanavia is from Canadia. I found this enormously confusing, but impressive all the same.

At the conference we discussed a number of issues facing the Afghan people. As is the case at these things, talks focussed on issues of governance and development, aid and security. Relationships were forged, and alliances struck. Problems were identified, and we all agreed that fixing the problems would be a keen idea. The "how" of that whole process, now we didn't exactly have time to get to that. But trust me when I say that we'll do everything within the power of our vaguely European accents to make the how happen.

And for now, I'll leave you with a few more pictures--not of the conference itself, more to follow on that. But here are some shots of trip, I hope you enjoy.

#1 and #2: The Afghanistan country side as seen from inside a helicopter

#3: Cigarettes for sale at the Kabul Intl Airport don't actually want you to smoke them

#4: Our hero eating a Jungle Curry at the Thai Restaurant at the Kabul Intl Airport

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