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Reasons to stay

Friday, January 5, 2007 by Marianne Elliott

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Because when the cruelty, selfishness and arrogance of the bad guys make me feel so angry and helpless that I want to escape this country, escape those feeling, I know that there are Afghans who feel so much angrier but who have so much less power to make a difference than I could have if I work out how to use it.

Because I'm remembering how miserable it can feel trying to fit my square peg self into a round hole but I'm also remembering that there are better ways of responding than either: raging against the injustice or stupidity of the round hole; or rubbing off my jangly, sparkly edges until I fit in.

Because I'm learning about Afghanistan.

Because I'm persevering until I figure out how to do a job that doesn't come naturally to me, how to give my best even when I feel a hundred others could do better.

Because I'm learning about how hard it can be to translate the rhetoric into reality.

Because I have the following essentials for my survival:

  • Lovely and long-suffering boyfriend
  • iPod filled with NZ music
  • iBook and an internet connection
  • Moleskine journals
  • Pastels and paints (courtesy of the aforementioned lovely boyfriend)
  • Digital camera
  • Aveda Replenishing body moisturiser
  • Hema face cream and oil (100% deliciously NZ organic)
  • Bodyshop hemp hand and foot cream (see a pattern? it's dry here!)
  • Jarrah Chocolatte hot chocolate
  • Lady Grey tea
  • Scented candles
  • Ugg boots
  • 100% NZ made puffy jacket
  • Yoga mat (somewhat neglected of late but always there when I'm ready)
  • DVDs (The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Northern Exposure and Scrubs)
  • Poetry books (Rumi and NZ's Janet Frame)
  • Small collection of novels (including Rachael King, Alice Munro, Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood)

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9 Responses to "Reasons to stay"

  1. Susannah says:

    you are doing a wonderful job there and have my full admiration 🙂 and as long as you have your Moleskines you’ll be fine (i can’t go anywhere without mine!) xoxps. yes i will be selling my photographs as soon as i can get a website sorted – do you seriously think anyone would buy them?

  2. Regina Clare Jane says:

    It’s amazing how the little things in life can make any situation tolerable. You are doing a great service- remember that. The people you help will never forget you. And… it all comes back to you- your bravery and perseverence and determination. That’s the way it works.Many blessings for you and the work you do…

  3. Lacithecat says:

    I am happy that you have someone there to rely on. The commander sounds like quite a man (smile). And that list sounds utterly luxurious! Hahaha … you are one sorted woman with your priorities straight. I remember looking at my suitcase desperately hoping for something from ‘Bath and Body Shop’ to magically appear in my suitcase. Luckily Ali pointed me in the right direction for a bit of pampering as I was utterly unprepared to cater for my girlie side. Smile …I am tempted to come out of the project just to see all this stuff! Take care,x

  4. Alex aka Gypsy Girl says:

    Frida! Blog of the week? I feel so honored that an incredible woman like you is enjoying my musings 😉 Thank you! I was laughing when I read that you asked your boyfriend how he wanted to be called in the blog. I did the same… But we still haven’t come up with the right “name” yet… Lots of silly names flying around… We’ll see…***I love your post. You’re there for all the right reasons and I’m glad that you have the support system to keep you going. I’m a huge fan of yours already!

  5. Mary says:

    You are remarkable. And we miss you. And you can come home whenever you want. But if you stay there – we support you. And love you. And engage in what you do. There are no wrong decisions.

  6. Susannah says:

    sweetie – let me know which photo you want and it would be my pleasure to email it to you as a little late Chrissy pressie 🙂 just leave me your email address in a comment (which i can delete once i have it to protect your privacy) xo

  7. susanna says:

    Hang in there, Frida! You are doing something so worthwhile. I like your list of essentials – I can somewhat envision your side of the tent (or room). I bet your boyfriend secretly gets a hoot out of all the girlieness (chocolate, Aveda, yoga mat…). 🙂

  8. paris parfait says:

    Sounds like you have the essentials covered! And is there any way to send you a package with books, etc.?

  9. [a} says:

    I was gonna mention art supplies (useful for destressing), but yeah, you have paints and all.I SO want a Moleskine journal.

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