Thursday, 23 October 2008

21st October

This is such a complex place. Yesterday I saw the hospitality of the Afghans, we witnessed the desire for peace and education and such hope for a better future...we saw everything you would want to see to encourage you to believe that there really is hope for these people after the years of war.

Today I have heard that a young South African girl was gunned down in Kabul and killed by 2 men on a motorbike.It is heart breaking for everyone. In Sari Sang High School today, I asked the girls what they watch on television. They said they had stopped watching the news because all they hear about are explosions and death and fighting. It terrifies them. Their lives have been blighted by war. They missed 3 years of school when they fled as refugees and they fear that if the situation deteriorates their fragile stability and hope for a better future will be shattered once again.

A suicide bomb went off here yesterday and killed 2 German soldiers and 5 children. Yet as we walk around the classrooms and see girls studying in computer classes and discussing their lives with such intelligence and integrity,it seems this problem is thousands of miles from here. We spend hours talking with the grade 12 students. They are determined to get to University and become doctors and teachers and engineers to serve their country...but in reality, places at University are scarce, they need a male relative to accompany them and some of them are already married before leaving school.

Their twin school St Catherines, has sent them Geography and language field trip studies and the girls are enthralled by the photos of Spain and Iceland and the coasts of England and love all the pictures. Many of them can speak a little English. They also sent them cards and letters and the girls read them out and will write back individually to their new pen friends.

If only peace can hold and they can have the lives they so deserve and finish their studies and start the wheel of progress running ...these girls are fantastic and with enough of them being educated there could be such a wonderful new generation to replace the lost generations of professional, qualified Afghans.

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