Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Saturday 18th October

Sitting in Taloqan, Northern Afghanistan, waiting for the sun to go down and the electricity to come on! I have been here so many times now, feel I know it very well. Flew up on the Paktek Beechcraft-8 seater. A journey of 13 hours in the past is reduced to 2 hours, but I miss arriving by road and crossing the great Salang Pass. Nevertheless, there is something exciting about taking off from Kabul airport in a tiny plane, flying over the warplanes and helicopters and up and over those idiosyncratic Afghan hills. Feel strangely vulnerable and insignificant in that small aircraft flying over such vast, uninhabited and hostile terrain. Then we land in Kunduz and step out into its dusty airfield to be greeted by “sarahfan”and drivers I have known for years...

Tried to call the children and managed to talk to all of them just before they set out to South Africa for their father’s wedding. But in one of those classic communications chaotic moments, I failed to hear what Antonia had lost....all I could here her repeat was that she had lost something and I was desperate to hear exactly what in case she needed it badly .....at last over the crackling airways, as my anxiety and her exasperation with me were escalating, I managed to hear the word “tooth” !!!

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