While I certainly would not purport myself as an Afghan expert, I would have to say that my understanding of the challenging and issues facing Afghanistan become deeper by the day.
I realized at a meeting the other day for my new position, since I’m overlapping on both project until next week, that I couldn’t have done this job a year ago. While I don’t feel that my professional skills were greatly challenged in the past year, my cultural and contextual understandings have been greatly strengthened.
I feel that this has given me a set of skills that is deeply valuable. I’m also so glad that I’ve decided to stay on in Afghanistan and contribute what I can. It feels good. It might not be easy, but it is rewarding.
Now I’m wrapping up my last few days on my old job and headed out of Kabul on Wednesday. I’m so looking for my visit stateside. For now I’m enjoying a relaxing weekend with lunch with a fellow West coast next, barn dancing and BBQ tonight, and settling into my new place. Next I’ll post pictures from there, but if you want a sneak peak just click on Miel’s Pictures under my profile pic.