Monday, October 24, 2005

One bullet can ruin your whole day Posted by Picasa

Dark days

Last week a UNDP two vehicle convoy was returning to Maimana from Mazar along the alternate route, which we had been using because of fighting on the main route. The fighting is actually between two political parties, and while quite a few people have been killed, it is not targetting the international community. Nonetheless, it seemed a good idea to use the secondary road.
About an hour out of Maimana, two gunmen attacked the trailing vehicle. 10 rounds from a Kalishnikov emptied into the car, ripping through four thicknesses of Landcruiser steel. Windows shattered, and a passenger injured. Amazingly, he was not killed - the bullet passing just in front of his head.
Then two days later, an NGO was returning to Maimana on the main route. A single gunman opened fire from behind a low wall, killing one passenger - a respected teacher, and injuring three others, one receiving two bullets to the head. The entire magazine was shot out - more than 30 bullets.
We have suspended travel in the province, but a resolution to this is not in sight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Meetings with Men, thin and tall, short and stout, violent all

Meetings today with General Fazil, Hajji Sofat Rewan, Khair Gamil Baba and Salai-uddin. All known warlords. Enough blood on their hands to satisfy Red Cross blood banks for years. The meeting was to do with disarmament... sure enough, all of them vehemently denied any weapons at all... none! ' If I have any weapons, arrest me now!'...'Liar you do! You gave him a whole truck full. I saw it, by God' ...' By God, don't call me a liar in the holy month of Ramazan!'.
And so it went on. Sitting with us was an ISAF commander and I whispered to him, 'You're the only one with a weapon, here, now. Take them all out. Four shots, no more problem.'

here it is then! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Role model: wanted

I think I need new role models for the next 10 years. If I think about it, Dave Andrews' community development/ engagement model was probably had the greatest influence on me to date, but that model of working and living and having faith doesnt seem to be cutting it anymore. I cant quite explain why. I think it doesn't provide a wayof operating in the world for me, as I am, now. It did when we were in India, Karawarra and the first years in Afghanistan - but not these last few years. I wonder if it just wasn't sufficient for the hardness of working here, plus the destruction we have experienced. Community engagement in a conservative Muslim society is almost tautological.

So I need some new model/ direction. Tim Costello was suggested. Richard Rohr (!) was too - I think not. There is no way I can make my living out of being spiritual. Political maybe. Grouchy, surely. A grouchy critical politician.... sounds unpleasantly like some of Australia's current leaders...