Absorptive capacity

Our shipment came in today, not our ship, the one Axel has been waiting for for so long, but the stuff packed up on September 5 in Kabul. All 3000 pounds were taken by two beefy men into our empty barn which is no longer empty. The night before I had not slept well, waking up every few hours agonizing about where all the stuff was going to go.

We had a big living room in Kabul, much bigger than here in Manchester. Some of the items that came out of the container are rather out of place here, like the small 4-inch high tables and stools that are meant to be next to Afghanistan’s traditional seating arrangements, the tushaks. These low to the ground pieces of furniture are of no use here where all our furniture is high off the ground. We don’t know what to do with them other than store them or give them away.

Despite our lack of absorptive capacity We are complete again, gone full circle from two years ago. Everything is here now except for things I left in Kabul – things I expect to need/use during a visit to Kabul in the future, if there is to be one. Now with the new twist in the (public) PAK-USA relations it seems all bets are off.

In between the unpacking of the 18 boxes I skyped with old friends and my future co-facilitator, fourteen timezones away, about the upcoming gig in Japan, one of my two pieces of work for the fall. I did accept the proposal writing offer because it was thrown into my lap. I have never done such a job before but people think I can do it.

M. called me from Kabul to say that the third leadership workshop with the midwives had gone very well. It had left everyone inspired, including the facilitators, and produced more confidence all around. If this is my only legacy in Kabul I would be very pleased indeed.

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September 2011
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