More up than down

More guests arrived today, adding America/India and America/Nepal to the mix. Now all the chairs at the dinner table are occupied.

According to my rehab protocol, as of last Wednesday I am to put full weight on my left foot, but only when in the orthopedic boot. Yesterday evening I walked up the stairs without the help of my crutches. There was no pain. Buoyed by my progress I left for the office with only one crutch. I parked it against a wall and never touched it during the work day. I even went to the store without it. And for the first time I took my afternoon shower without the help of crutches or my plastic lawn chair.

The end of phase 3 (the ortho boot phase) is in sight! It is only now, in the evening, that my foot is a little sore.

After work one of my earliest leadership students came by the guesthouse to greet me. Later her husband joined her. It is one of the rare couples I have met here where man and wife share house and children chores together. Most women in my office, young and old, despite having worked hard all week in the office, are busy all weekend with household chores, helping their mothers or serving their husbands. When the come to work on Sunday again, it may feel like a respite from housework. But this husband cooks, cleans and washes and takes care of the children.

I interviewed her about her work that includes training volunteers to advocate, lobby and maybe even harangue legislators to pay attention to the impact on women of new legislation, including the impact when good legislation stalls somewhere in the political process. She is also heavily involved in getting civil society involved in the elections – making sure they are fair and transparent. This is a very big job in this country.

In the meantime Karzai continues to blow off the foreigners, especially the Americans and the Europeans with doctored videos and alleged eye witness reports that turn out to be years old. I am trying to ignore the pull into cynicism by focusing on the wonderful and courageous women and men in my Afghan life.

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January 2014
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