Everything is slow, lethargic, even the hours of the day that usually go by so quickly. The weekend was endless, long enough to knit a baby sweater and watch a bunch of movie and about 6 repetitions of everything on EuroNews, BBC and Aljazeera. No one can say that I don’t know what’s happening in the world.

In the morning a young man from the moving company came to survey the stuff I plan to ship back home. He scribbled down some notes on a piece of paper and guessed 800 pounds. I think he is a little off and he will be even more off if Steve goes on another shopping spree – something that is entirely possible.

Since Steve appears to like the buying more than the having, I am taking two magnificent instruments off his hands – for Sita and Jim. To complete their wish list I will have to go to Chicken Street at least one more time.

At the language school another student was asking me why I continued to take lessons when I know I am leaving in about 6 weeks or less. I explained that there are some people in the world who love learning languages, especially if there is a chance at immersion, and other people who dislike learning languages and that I belonged to the first group.

I can only take one class once a week now because of Ramazan – after work hours is too late so all that remains is Saturday. My teacher and I agreed I would do one hour of Dari and one hour of Pashto. We are reading moral stories inspired by former Education Secretary William Bennett, translated into Dari.

One of the stories is about the Dutch boy who sticks his finger in the dike and saves a town (altruism) and others are about honesty, courage and such. I am to read the Dutch story (that isn’t Dutch) and tell it in my own (Dari) words next week.

In the second hour we are studying Pashto. Learning Pashto this late in the game may seem silly but I love it. I want to make some progress on my Pashto which has stagnated a bit since my Monday class ended. I completed the short course but am far from saying anything meaningful. My new teacher, the head teacher of the language school, suggested an approach that seems a bit more effective than that of my previous teacher. We are using an adult literacy primer to avoid the confusing transliteration of the short course I completed. It is printed on cheap paper and with pictures that have been photocopied from poor photocopies. Another example of technical assistance, I suspect, that has not produced much of a legacy to be proud of.

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