Thursday, December 17, 2015

In Afghanistan, Predictions Come True

Me checking on students in writing class; Kabul Education University 2011

Award ceremony Kabul Education University (me in the green chadar!); 2012

Three and a half years ago, before doing my last teacher training in Afghanistan, I wrote about my expectations in the coming years. Many of the teachers I worked with have since completed their master's degrees, the country has become more volatile, most troops have left. These predictions came true. On the other hand, I never started my doctorate, but took on other endeavors. Life goes on and takes twists and turns; it is nice to look back and see what was, and what can be.

June 24, 2012

It starts as a low drone. Echoing baritones in the distance, haunting the morning. After one mullah starts the call to prayer, all others follow. One mosque, far away begins the wave of all other mosques in town singing Allah’s name until the mosque across the street from my apartment joins into the chorus. The loud speaker faces my window; I cannot ignore the song. Though I am not Muslim, the call to prayer is in my heart. Every time I hear it, I sing along and know that at that moment, I am probably singing with thousands of others, about to get down on their knees and offer their prayers to God. Here, the holy is in the air; I breathe it in everyday and wonder what affect it has on me.

This is my third time in Kabul and I am still amazed at the place. Each day I encounter the kindest people, the friendliest and most devout hearts. Though poverty abounds, people offer anything they can to make me feel at home and comfortable. My friends are happy and my students are ever curious. At the present, life is good in the city.

But when you dig a little deeper, you can see that it will not be this way always. Most of my friends and colleagues agree that as soon as ISAF forces draw down, the country will become much more violent. Though I know that the troops will not completely withdraw, I feel worried for my friends; I feel like their future is so uncertain. I know that the U.S. has to leave some time, but I wish that stability could be created by the people and by the ANA before the US and other nations leave.

I also think that this will be my last time in Afghanistan for a while. Though I love coming back here and teaching my friends, with the addition of the MA program it seems as though I am no longer needed here. This is great for the Afghans. It means that the educational infrastructure is developing and that things are getting better. I no longer need to come back to do teacher trainings because now the faculty is being trained in a new degree program. 

I also will not come back because I think it is time for me to move along with my life. I want to stay at my home in my country and make my own life in America better. I don’t want to have to come to Afghanistan to make money, I want to make money for myself in my own country. I want to go back to school and get a doctorate. I don’t know when the best time will be, but I am sure that will be revealed. 

I am hoping that this time in Afghanistan goes well, and that the teachers are satisfied that I have dedicated a small part of my life to being here. I hope that they are appreciative of what I could offer. Though it wasn’t much, it was part of my heart, some of my skills, and a little love.

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