Bamiyan Panorama

Bamiyan Panorama

Saturday, January 16, 2010

ending the war on terror...

"Today in Kabul, clean-shaven men rubbed their faces. An old man with a newly-trimmed grey beard danced in the street holding a small tape recorder blaring music to his ear. The Taliban - who had banned music and ordered men to wear beards - were gone." -Kathy Gannon, November 13, 2001, reporting for the Associated Press.

I'm almost done reading "Three Cups of Tea" which is about a man who built dozens of schools in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan to help boys and girls get a decent education. He founded the Central Asia Institute as an organized means to that goal. By getting a decent education these children aren't like sheep led to the fundamentalist/extremist Islamic Madrassas, which coincidentally are the former schools of the majority of the Taliban. I wish I could do something like that! He started his cause before 9/11 and continued it throughout and after 9/11. Why? Because relations between him, his Pakistani friends, and villages did not change. Baltistan. That's the region he mainly worked in. I liked the book for quite a few reasons. Firstly, it went into great detail about the 'way of life' of these small mountain towns and villages. I showed the Normalcy of their lives. How they are farmers, craftsmen, and have no political agenda on a large scale against anyone. (this is generally speaking, of course) I liked it because it showed the harsh details of the various wars and foreign powers shooting and bombing up their land - while remaining optimistic and showing that these people, with the help of schools and education, can rise above. They can return to normal if they are given a chance. I wish I could give them a chance.

tea culture

I was at my friend's house last night and finally discovered how Afghans make their chai! Boil water, add cardamom powder, and lipton's green tea bags. I think there are other types of tea that they make - i like them all.
They have a distinct tea culture. They drink it, ALL the time. When guests come over, they make mass quantities of it and generously distribute it to everyone. I think i had 4-5 cups of it last night! And don't get me started on the food...mmmm.... seasoned rice with chicken, lentils and yogurt on leek filled pasta shells, deep fried & spiced potatoes, beef, more rice, etc....
But back to the tea culture. I wish I had grown up in a tea culture. The first cup of tea I ever enjoyed was in England when I was 18, right after I graduated from high school. Ever since then i've been hooked. I'm trying to grow my collection so that I can share the joy of drinking tea with others.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


In college i took a social development class and one specific story stuck with me. In Haiti, in an unspecified time of recent history, many families owned a hog. This hog was their "cash cow". The details are fuzzy, but in some way or another this hog enabled them to have food and earn money. The colonial/european/american power at the time decided that all of the hogs were to be rounded up and killed. Then each Hatian family was to purchase a new pig. Not hog, PIG. These pigs were not naitive to Haiti like the hogs were. Their food needed to be imported, while the hogs ate the natural Haitian vegetation. And ultimately the pig project was an economic failure - a failure forced onto the Haitians. I think a few hogs(literally) survived hidden up in the hills somewhere.

That story seems to be on repeat for every aspect of Hatians lives. Where is the infastructure? Where is the Aid? The Aid is there, actually. Tons of it. But where are the results? You can't put a band-aid on a severed limb. You need to stop the bleeding, let it heal, and then teach it to live again. I wish I knew more about Haiti - other than centuries of negligence and oppression by whomever is in power. And plenty of band-aids to pass out.

Pray for Haiti, please.