Break out

It was maybe a year ago, I was still in Afghanistan, that I wrote a comment on Katie’s blog where she reported on her life in South Africa. She wrote me back something like this, “I am sitting on my balcony, it’s warm and sunny. I am looking out over green hills, a glass of cool white wine in my hand…” I think I read that while it was cold and wintry in Kabul, sitting amidst diesel fumes, hacking coughs, no wine or green hills in sight. I remember being a little jealous.

And here I am now, sitting in that same apartment, looking out over these green hills, a glass of white wine and French cheese (another thing I craved in Afghanistan) on the table in front of me. Katie moved out to a real home with more space for her visiting friends and so her place has now become the MSH apartment and I am the first user. It is lovely, breaking out after four weeks in hotels.

The project staff was so kind so put some basics in the fridge, enough for breakfast. I love it that this included the local equivalent of Marmite, Bovril. I added some other basics, like wine and cheese and now life is nearly perfect.

I drove myself to the apartment in my spiffy red Hyunda, a cute little car that the project rented for me so I am no longer dependent on drivers and rides. It gives me some freedom. I had practiced the route to the apartment in my head and was able to follow it without the help of the GPS or my smartphone. I told people not to worry and I called in once I had arrived. The driving on the left side of the road was not so difficult – I have done it before and the neural pathways allowing me to do it again are still there.

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