You’ve probably heard – the swine flu (or as they call it in Pashto – Haych yaww enn yaw) has hit Afghanistan. People are wearing masks, reluctant to shake hands, schools have been called off for a few weeks until this ‘flu’ somehow disappears. The toll – 400 cases of swine flu.
But let’s face it! How good is Afghanistan’s health system? Not very good at all. They’re not very good at diagnosing so as far as we’re concerned, it could be anything. An Afghan-German doctor in Germany conducted his research and he found that the symptoms are very closely linked to cholera – that’s more like it since under developed countries are usually suffering from this vicious disease. Ministry of Health has declared this wave of H1N1 in Afghanistan. How true is it? That, we don’t know. Besides, how can the swine flu spread in Afghanistan at all?
On a positive note, the Kabul river has been cleaned. That’s right, CLEANED! It looks really nice now. USAID have this project where they pay $6 (300 Afghanis) a day for any volunteers to clean the river. It’s working so far. I haven’t seen the river this clean in yonks, of course it’s not filled with water, but still… it’s an empty river.
Things in Kabul are unusually calm – I guess we’re all waiting for a big BOOM. Most of the roads have been cordoned off- so I guess that’s a deterrence.
In Kandahar, the police together with US army have seized ammonium nitrate (one of the ingredients for a bomb). They use it as ‘fertilizer’ but it is illegal in Afghanistan – there are other fertilizers they can use. Andddd…. Ammonium nitrate is imported from Pakistan – surprise surprise!
One more month and I’ll stop working, or should I? Shouldn’t I?! I can’t really decide. I’ve submitted my resignation; they wouldn’t accept it at first, so they’re counting it as I’m taking a long time off from work. I will see how things are. I really want to start packing- and this time pack for good. Will I ever return? God knows. I’m not ruling out the option, just not making plans yet.
I’ve kind of finished applying for my Masters, still have a bit more to do. I always feel like I am missing some part of my application form out, butttt i’m sure it’s just paranoia. I’ll be fine.
This is Atash Parcha, and you’ve been briefed! 🙂