Sunday, 11 November 2007

Nov 10th - Zouhruddin and Wahdat....

(Posting by Paula, blog for November 9th is below this one - email this morning told me all was well...)

Sitting in bed in gloves and coat absolutely freezing and missing home like mad! What I would give to see the kids, have a hot bath and a huge glass of wine …and be WARM!

Luckily the days are so rewarding it makes up for the long bleak cold evenings tucked away in Taloqan.

Left at dawn heading for Worsaj. A 4 hour drive through beautiful valley where we have built a school and have 2 more underway. Stunning scenery in the bright morning sun. Arrived at Zouhruddin girls school twinned to Sholing, Southampton. Wonderful greeting. As before, I walked through narrow allies of village with backdrop of mountains to reach the school. Showered with glitter and confetti and given bunches of flowers in greeting. Breakfast of bread and cream and jam with hot chai and much banter.

Went round the classrooms. The girls had written letters to twin school—and some in English, so moving as they read them out. The had also made beautiful handicrafts. They loved receiving all letters and info on school and presents. Sang to us and asked us lots of questions. They are desperate for computers and for their teachers to be given better training.

The male teachers very keen to help the girls and want us to build a protected area so that they can do sports. Great morning ended with entire school outside clapping and cheering us and giving us gifts of hand embroidered scarves to thank us. So happy to be having a new school.

Went to see the construction and it is nearly finished. All very exciting and in beautiful location. Then taken to a village house with carved balcony where we were given lunch overlooking the mountains. Sitting on cushions on floor, Jane and I with 14 men eating delicious Afghan food.

Visited Wahdat School on the way home – a Boys school funded by the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust. Construction is almost complete –a lovely school by the river. It was wonderful to see construction in full swing.

Puncture in the valley. Followed by another puncture in the dark on the Fakhar road – I was glad to be in convoy of 2 vehicles. Borrowed a tyre and huddled in the dark while they fixed the other one …good to get back!

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