As the Dust Settles

Life has seemed very intense these past few weeks but everything seems to be settling into a nice routine with just the right amount of excitement.  We are on our fourth week of homeschooling, and Winter and David are working hard at their studies.  Three days a week two of their friends join us for joint instruction.  We have labeled our school Pactec High.  Some days its a juggling act making sure everyone is getting the instruction they need, and other days they are pretty self sufficient.   We even take a recess in the morning so the kids can get some fresh air and a brain break, and their teacher can have a few minutes of space.  PE is a class we added for homeschooling.  Part of that includes running in our back yard even if it is in circles.  It is nice to see all these running shoes by our door.   I am really enjoying this season and the challenge of teaching some other subjects.   Grading papers is not a strength, but one of the new ladies on our team is an English teacher and helps me out.

In many ways, we are the lucky ones.  We can make adjustments for school.  We still have a livelihood.  Some of Winter and David’s friends from ISK are transitioning to other schools inside and outside of Afghanistan.  Others are still in shock and trying to figure out what to do.  Some have options.  Others do not.   Many of the workers have no options as the job market here is pretty tight.  My friend, Aquilla had worked for ISK for 10 years since the beginning.   Now she is trying to figure out what to do next.  My house helper who comes in twice a week also worked at ISK.  She is thankful to still have some work especially since right now she is the breadwinner for her family.   It is a hard situation for many of the students and workers.  On the other hand, the decision to close ISK was not an easy one to make either.  There are no easy answers.

The number of foreigners in Kabul keeps getting smaller.  I seem to have more sewing ladies coming to my door wanting to sell me things.  In the past, someone has given them wood and other things for the winter.  Now they are on their own.    They are way too dependent on foreign ladies for their livelihood.  You can only buy so many potholders, aprons, and table clothes.  These ladies are talented so I talked to one about finding something to sew that a store here would sell for her.   It was like she couldn’t understand what I was saying.   She was having trouble thinking outside of the box.    I can help some as do some of the other ladies, but we are not a long term solution.

On the flying side, we have flight permissions for three months.  There is lots to do between now and then to get the permissions extended but at least the process is moving forward, and we can still fly.   The guys are working hard at flying and haven’t had to reschedule too many flights due to weather.  Overall our winter has been pretty mild, but we could use some snow.

Because my schedule is slightly more flexible, it has been nice to have some time with the other Pactec ladies.  We have started meeting every two weeks for coffee and treats.  With all the kids, it can seem slightly chaotic at times, but being able to connect is worth it.  Today it was at my house.  We talked about what things were keeping us sane this summer and prayed for one of our ladies that had just had a birthday.

This weekend we had a bit of freedom.  For our date, Noel took me to the grocery store while the kids had youth group.  Then after picking up Big D from youth group, we decided to try out a new restaurant call Chief Burger.  We ordered the food to go but it was so freeing to walk a bit in the bazaar from our car to the restaurant.  I had a beef burger.  Noel had a spicy chicken sandwich, and David had chicken butti.  My burger was the closest thing to a hamburger I have had here.  You will have to ask Big D what chicken butti is.  It is nice that most of these restaurants have an English version to their menus.  It is also fun to find the translation errors.  See if you can find a few in the following pictures.

Thank you for all your prayers these past months as we have faced many challenges.  God is faithful, and we have seen him working every step of the way.  As Noel and I have our daily time with God, we keep hearing God say to us “Stay the course.” so that is what we are trying to do.  Pray for Winter as her best friend here is leaving at the end of the month.  She will not longer have any girls her age.   This month will be full of sleep overs and having lots of friend time before her friend leaves.  Pray also for Noel who will leave Thursday for the states. He has training at HQ and will be going for about 10 days.  Pray for us that everything will keep working around the house while he is gone.  Many blessings, T

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