I am in my fifth day of a miserable cold, laryngitis, sore throat, cough, sinus pains and what not, hence the absence of posts. Having another inflammation in my arm (a tendinitis that probably came from being on crutches) makes for nights as miserable as the days.

I spent this last week in Afghanistan voiceless. Still I ran a full day event on Sunday, which probably set me back a few days as I thought I was on the mend but then relapsed. My co-facilitator did fine with me whispering on the sidelines. It was actually a good test because he will run the next event, six months from now, on his own, passing his new skills on to another. That’s how it should go.

Being voiceless is a terrible experience because it is only then that you realize how much you have to say. May be if you have always been voiceless you don’t know any better and assume you have nothing to say.

I am under the wonderful nursing care of a colleague who was much better equipped with medicine than I was. I left my entire medicine kit at home; it must have gotten moved out of the routine somehow. And obviously getting sick was not part of the plan.

I am imagining the wars that are going on inside me at a cellular level; now so much better informed about how that takes place from reading The Great Influenza.

I had to skip some fun stuff towards the end of my visit, such as a Friday lunch at M’s new apartment, a visit from my wool supplier who had wanted to bring me a sweater, no doubt knitted by one of his wool widows, seeing my friend F from Pakistan who happened to be in town and saying goodbye to other dear friends. I also had to cancel a last visit to S’ family and the girls’ school. Hopefully I can make up for this a next time as there are some signs that I may be asked to come back, so I consider these simply postponements.

And now I am preparing for my departure; suitcase packed, a last morning in the office to say my goodbyes, departing after lunch for a debrief at USAID and then to the airport and on my way home, still sick as a dog but buoyed by the prospect of home and family.

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February 2014
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