Afghanistan III

Salaam from Mazar-e-Sharif, salaam for the third time.

Weather is hot and hot and hot. The mercury in thermometer rises to the sky; today it stopped on 40 Celsius, tomorrow will climb to 42. Hot water is coming out of both taps. Potatoes are cooking under the ground and chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs. Ok, I am exaggerating, but it feels this way. And we sweat and sweat and sweat. OK. We shouldn’t comp-lain. Or I shouldn’t complain. What about Afghan women who wear the burqa over their normal clothing? The burqa is the blue, white or green huge piece of cloth where the air circulation is very poor and where women can barely see the pathway. They must be boiling under this synthetic cloth. And imagine, some burqas are even black.

I had to wear a burqa too. On my third trip to the field, we were passing a small town where a bazaar was in full swing. The street was busy with men on motorcycles, sitting in front of their shops, selling nans (nan is the national bread of Afgha-nistan. It is a flatbread and can be oval or rectangular), selling sheep or just wandering here and there. The streets were crowed full of men and we were only women there. Well, we were in a car, but still our drive driver gave the order: “Put burqas on!”

I was the last one who put it on. I was fighting with this unfamiliar piece of clothing – I couldn’t find front and couldn’t find the top. The ladies tried to help me; more hands were touching this blue monster and making it more difficult to put on. Finally (we already hit the street full of men) we managed it. I was under the blue burqa. There was just one mistake:  I wore it inside out.

Cooperation training for farmers

In Zare, I documented the cooperation training for farmers organized by the People in Need – Food Facilities.  About ten respected bearded men attended this workshop. The workshop was for five days, and this new cooperation will get a tractor, a drop-side-truck and wheat thresher from People in Need (PIN).

From Zare I went to Marghzar, where Marghzar High School was officially opening with a big ceremony where officials like Mullah, the minister of finance and others as well as the PIN engineer, the PIN program coordinator, and other PIN members were there. And of course there were students, pupils, and teachers there too. After all, this school is for them.

Official opening of Marghzar High School

Pupils and students lined up in front of their new school where the ribbon was cut and speeches were delivered. The heat was so strong, one pupil threw up; my head was spinning and the students‘ too, I’m sure. After couple unbelievably long speeches they sat down. No water was offered to them.

Official opening of Marghzar High School

Marghzar is a beautiful place surrounded by incredible mountains. People are very friendly and you can walk freely everywhere. So I continue with my portraits using this pictorial landscape as the background.

A father and son

A boy wearing a Pakul hat

Two young men stand together holding hands, a traditional gesture of friendship in Afghanistan

I was all week in Mazar working on my pictures. I also have a new web-show of the pictures. If you are interested, here is the link:

http://galleryprint.com/gallerymain.html

On Monday I am off again, I am going back to Kishindeh and to a new place:  Chakana.

Iva

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