What is a Chaikidor?

In Dari, the word Chaiki means chair.  So literally a Chaikidor is a person who sits by the gate to answer the door.  In reality, a Chaikidor is a person who answers your gate and is a go between for you and the person at the gate. If he is not sure about whether to let a person into our yard, he will come and talk to us first.  He will also take care of the yard and outside work and run errands upon request.  Our organization hires two chaikidors for us.  We have a day guy and a night guy.   We try to develop a relationship with these guys and invest in them and their families.  They are a big help to us and we hope to also be a help to them by being good employers.

Our day chaikidor keeps the busiest.  Besides answering the gate, he may walk Teresa or David and Winter to school or a friend’s house.  He may also make a run to the bazaar and is very good at finding things at a good price.   His main source of transportation is a bike and he is very creative at carry all the groceries on the back and the handlebars.  He takes pride in keeping the flower beds weeded and the grasses green and trimmed.   We were privileged last year (2010) to attend his wedding and then this year to hear he now has a daughter who we are anxious to meet.   Since our day Chaikidor does not know any English, it keeps us motivated to keep learning the language so we can communicate clearly.   Teresa writes the grocery list out in Dari and is always forgetting a dot or putting it in the wrong place.  He just smiles and gently corrects her.   Since creme and cabbage are very similar in spelling, we ended up with cabbage once when Teresa wanted creme.  Sometimes when our day guy is taking David somewhere, they will ride their bikes.  It is rumored that when the coast is clear they will race.

Our evening Chaikidor is a young guy in his early twenties who knows English pretty well.  He will often finish a task the day guy has started, run and get us some fresh naan, or wash the truck if we happen to have one at our house.   Of course, he is also there to answer the gate.  We enjoy our conversations with him and learn a lot about the culture from him.  We expect him to move on to a better job in the next year or so because he does have some education and also dreams for a better future for himself.   He especially enjoys talking to and learning from Mr. Noel.

We are thankful to God for these Gentlemen and pray for them and their families daily.

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