When the security is good, one of my favorite parts of living here is being able to walk to the office, to a friend’s house, or in the bazaar. Riding in a vehicle can sometime feel like you are going off road even though we live in the city. Our road is the worst with lots of potholes to maneuver around. Walking is less brain jarring.
Why do I like to walk?
1. I get to see ordinary people doing ordinary things. Girls and boys are either going to and from school. Men are hawking their wares from their carts. Soldiers are standing at their posts faithfully doing their job. Near the passport office, young entrepreneurs have copy machines hooked up to batteries to help people needing copies before heading to get their passports or visas renewed. Walking puts a face to the people we serve here.
2. It feels good to get out and about. Most of my days are spent at home doing school with the kids and taking care of other business. It makes a nice break day to my day to feel the sun on my face as I walk to the office to do an errand or go to a friend’s house to just hang out.
3. It feels normal and makes me feel more a part of the life in my area of town. Last week Noel and I were out doing errands. A friend had given us a juicer attachment for our Bosch machine and we wanted to try it out so we decided to buy some oranges. Usually our chaikidor does most of the bazaar shopping but this day I enjoyed picking out two different kinds of oranges, discussing the price with the cart owner, and seeing him weigh the oranges to get me exactly 2 kilos. I love the interaction that comes from being out and about.
Some random things about walking here.
1. Walking needs to have a purpose. In the states, Noel and I love to go on walks just to spend time together and talk. Due to security here, walking is a way to get from point A to point B. The distance is usually only a few blocks.
2. As a woman, it is good for me to have an escort. I am thankful that Big D or our chaikidor, Mirwais, are always willing to walk with me.
3. I always need to be aware of my surroundings. This is important anywhere you are. One thing that makes this hard for me as a woman is that women are not suppose to look men in the eyes. I have to be discreet as I look around me.
4. When walking, Winter and I will wear a coat and headscarf. Since Winter is a young girl, she wears a trendy, cute coat and scarf but sometimes she will wear her long black coat depending on her mood and how bright her clothes are. Since I am older, I wear a long brown coat and my scarf. When walking, we always try to pick a scarf that will stay well on our heads. It is no fun to be walking and adjusting your scarf at the same time.
I am thankful that this is a season where we can walk from place to place. Walking gives me a sense of independence and a chance to put a face to the people we pray for daily. Spring is such a nice season, but sometimes it is also a time when fighting resumes. Continue to pray with us for peace here in Afghanistan. Pray with us that the people here will come to know the One who brings true peace. Blessings, TJ