As I sit here writing this post, I am enjoying Fall break #2. This break has been great for getting caught up on things at home and connecting with our team and friends. On Saturday some ladies from Delaram Salon came to my house to do hair cuts and pedicures. We rearranged the dining room to fit in a hair cutting station and a pedicure area. Usually we go to the salon but due to tigher security and young moms with little ones, we decided the extra price of them coming our way was worth it. Considering we only had to pay $15 for a haircut and the same for a pedicure, it is good deal by US standards at least.
At 9:00 just as the cinamon rolls were coming out of the oven, the Delaram ladies arrived ready to work. It was good to see a wife of one of Pactec’s national employees who helps the ladies with translation. A few minutes later, four Pactec team wives plus 7 kids filled our dining and living room. We spent the morning talking, eating, getting pampered, and reconnecting. One of the Pactec ladies even did henna on Winter and her friend’s hands. Here is a picture of Winter’s. It has been a few days so is slightly faded. I have also included a picture of one of our moms getting a pedicure in our makeshift salon.
About 11:30, the Delaram ladies finished up and left. The ladies kept talking and enjoying each other’s company. At 12:15, I realized they would not be leaving anytime soon. So our impromtu lunch included leftovers from my frig and some chicken and fries from KFC (Kabul Fried Chicken). It was just enough. A little after 1:00, they all headed out to get kids down for naps. Each lady had a smile on her face and a few mentioned that they should get together more often. I had to smile that it took this school teacher on fall break who needed a hair cut to organize this gathering.
The day was a reminder of how much we need community. As ladies, we need time to just hang out and talk about everyday things. We want to know and be known. It was not just us expat ladies. Our national worker’s wife enjoyed drinking tea with us and telling us about her sons who are studying in the states. It was a time to just be. After the Delaram ladies left, those of us who were left were able to talk about life after the departures of some of our families this fall. What was hard? What hurts still? Were we sad? Angry? What we missed the most was the community that we had as a team. On this morning, I saw the beginning of a different community. We were reminded of how much we needed each other in the every day. The day started off as a way for me to get a much needed hair cut and ended with me feeling connected to the other ladies on our team.
We can pour our lives into our work and the people here. But there are days, we just need a listening ear who knows our fears and struggles. We need someone to say you can do it and pray with us. This is a need whether we are here or back in our home country. So today I am thinking about community and how I can do a better job of helping build community on our team. We have three young moms on our team right now that spend most days at home caring for their children. Pray that God will give them joy and purpose in their parenting. Pray that they will find ways to connect with each other and the Afghan ladies God sends their way. I go to school everyday and interact with others. These moms can often feel isolated and alone. Pray I know how to reach out and love on them even when school is in session.
Many Blessings, TJ