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Saturday, December 02, 2006


"I have something for that suggestion box"

Photo at right, passport riot.

Steve, Kate and Pam are still in Dubai . . .Pam doesn't know she still has fellow Bpeacers with her yet as she was due to fly out tomorrow and we said goodbye last night. But Steve and Kate hampered by notorious Kabul snows. ALL flights cancelled including our Kam Air. Hoping for tomorrow though told this is not likely as snow continues to fall (while it pours the rain here in Dubai). Steve and I just got to our hotel after sitting at airport since 5am.

Near riot as Dubai Immigration was threatening to hold our passports and not let us out of airport. Kam Air would not return our luggage. None of this was well received by tired and cranky passengers as you can imagine. A suggestion box in the middle of the riot scene prompted Steve to suggest the more peaceful way to resolve the conflict was to post a suggestion for customer service improvement. Some American counter-narcotics workers instead threatened government action on violations of the Geneva Convention. This is a ritual I am all too familiar with unfortunately in winter. Anyone remember Feb 05?

But once again met great people doing great things including John Yancura from FINCA, and John Peek the Kiwi from Afghan Wireless. We will swap stories in the morning of how we spent our extra night in Dubai. Also met a man who must remain nameless . . .works for one of the 7 companies on the 12 year project to demine Afghanistan. As a fellow snow hog loved the following conversation. He and his partner are avid snowboarders (and were carrying brand new Burton boards) and have found a way to live their passion in Afghanistan, albiet a way that is strictly "out of bounds". It entails driving to the famous Solang Pass and stopping off at one of its tunnels. One person stays with car and drives through tunnel while snowboarders fly overhead for several thousand feet through "amazing powder". Now get this, "Yes we have to avoid the mines, but as long as they are covered in snow, physics will keep us from setting them off". Now THAT is a blast.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed for departure tomorrow . . .need to get to Kabul.

Foiled by the weather again! Curses! And yes, I do remember Feb 05 (what fun! At least that is when I had the pleasure of meeting you, my dear Kate!). I also remember Deceber 05, sharing close quarters in a random hotel with Athena when the UN flight was canceled (NOT due to weather -- but due rather to a mysterious malfunction they couldn't repair....) Oh well, its always something. I know you're anxious to get to Kabul (and we're anxious to hear about it!), but enjoy some more sushi and warm weather. You're both good about rolling with the punches. Think of it as a good opportunity to help Pam with her Dubai duties.


I am sorry Kate you had to experience this AGAIN. Steve, now you know what the team went through in Feb. 05. But we went on to have a great mission then, and I know you will now.

Try to exorcise the tension, and keep on laughing.

Thank you both for your bravery and tenacity.

I wish I were there with you to laugh through tensions and flirt with the snowboarders (my husband wont be reading this blog, right?). Its a holdover from my days of living in Vermont. Hang in there, watch TV, eat good food and pray for sunshine and zero humidity.
Love, Marla
All -

The snow-boarding idea totally cracked me up, but Steve, please keep Kate off the "slopes" - don't need her coming in contact with any landmines!

Hope the weather clears so you can be on your way tomorrow.

You are all in my thoughts and continue to amaze me.

Much love,
Susan M
Love imaging you all enjoying that sushi. However, as for airport adventures, I'm sure this is an experience youl would much rather have avoided. Hang in there, and I know the mission will be a success -- with you all there it has to be! Take care!!

Jackie B. b
As crazy as it sounds where you all are, I wish I was with you. You are on another adventure. It beats the screaming, yelling and beating up that Charlie manages to do to me everyday.

Be safe and try to relax this evening in anticipation of your flight tomorrow. Travel safely and I will continue to send positive energy your direction.

Mary C.
Just wanted to wish you all a safe trip to Kabul and look forward to reading about your progress. I admire your commitment and bravery.
My grandson Seamus (Janine's son) is visiting me and wants to read about Habiba's daycare center and is typing the following message: uiuitruyi3yiryruweittutu--
Hi you guys,

I'm sending prayers that the snow will clear and you will be able to safely fly to Kabul. I can see I have to re-think my wardrobe a little -- definitely need the biggest, warmest coat I have.

I'll see you there very soon.

Hey you still look like your having fun.
When do you attempt the skiing over the tunnel? I may actually volunteer on that mission! Stay Warm! Bring back some snow and drop it in VT not NY.
Well look at the bright side -- you're downing all that delicious fresh well refrigerated sushi -- keep eating! In Kabul it'll be only rice!
Hang in -- before you know it we will all be listening to you regaling us with tales of the new store!
Wendy S.
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