I have 2 objectives this trip, 1) visit the orphanage for meetings to discuss some issues and plan the way forward; 2) carry out an on-site assessment at a displaced peoples camp outside Kabul.
Waiting outside for my lift to pick me up, its hectic, the streets are full and busy, people everywhere, cars hardly moving, I’m focused on the street scene in front of me, suddenly I hear the clear (and sickening) sound of a weapon being cocked behind me, my heart almost stops as I spin round to see 3 US soldiers moving quickly past me to secure an area where one of their vehicles was approaching, I quickly move out of the area and away from them, nearly wet myself. It is never a pleasant experience to be standing the wrong side of a cocked weapon.
Arrive at the orphanage office 50 minutes later, spend about 2 hours in meetings and then head out to visit the orphans. Government officials are not happy with the orphanages, asking why the children are not being taught the same material taught in all of the other schools.
There are a number of new orphans that have arrived and do not have sponsorship, two young brothers saw their father killed in a bombing and don’t know where their mother is.
Two other young boys were living on the streets, they do not know their parents or where they come from. I spend the rest of the day with the children playing with them and listening to their stories, then they have a Karate class and want me to watch, what a special bunch of youngsters.
Feeling satisfied, it was a good day, but drained, watch some of the tragic news coming out of Japan, no cold drinks around, charge phones, lay my clothes and shoes out carefully and off to sleep.