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My legs still work

Saturday, October 6, 2007 by Marianne Elliott

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There are two NGOs (non-governmental organisations, or not-for-profits) in town with international staff who, although not based here full-time, make regular and extended visits. This week I arrived back from Lal to find my mates in town until next Tuesday.


When the boys are here I can do all sorts of things that I am not allowed or not able to do alone: go for walks, explore the river, host (small but perfectly formed) social functions at my place. All in all the pace of life changes and I get out and about a lot more.

Last night they came for an after dinner beer and a long talk about Buddhism, suffering, the Boxing day tsunami, meditation, physics (string theory even, I was not altogether coherent on this topic, but nonetheless spoke passionately about the vibrating, dancing strings). Today we sat by the river watching the water go by for an hour or so and then walked out of town up into the hills until we could see the sun was going to set on us.


Can you see Cheghcharan away off in the distance? Today I discovered that after months of being fairly confined to the compound my legs do still work (which is good news for my plans to walk with Swirly!). Breathing in the fresh air, striding out towards the distant mountains, cooking up schemes to walk all the way to the summit one weekend, exclaiming at the hardy little flowers, wondering what the names of the local birds might be – all in all an afternoon very well spent. See how Frida is smiling?


PS: I'm posting all my best photos over at my new photoblog and they are feeling a little lonely over there. I'd love your feedback. I'm building courage to do something more with these images and I'm really interested in which of them you find you respond to most, and maybe even why?


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19 Responses to "My legs still work"

  1. Swirly says:

    What a beautiful landscape…I wish I could have been part of such a fascinating discussion!!

  2. Paris Parfait says:

    I’m so pleased you’re having fun visits with your friends. It makes such a difference when living in a remote area, I know from my time in the Middle East. xo

  3. Silvia says:

    What a beautiful landscape!I’m glad to see the other sight of Afganistan 🙂 Have fun with your friends! xo

  4. susannah says:

    wow wow wow! the landscape.. oh my god. i want to come visit! (and talking about dancing strings 😉 love you xxo

  5. lacithecat says:

    I am so happy for you. They seem really cool and what an amazing adventure and feeling of freedom. With winter comings, its lovely you were able to wander abit before it would be bitterly cold.
    Any luck of more charities opening in the area and bringing with them so further social possibilities? Esp as your army friends have left.
    Thank you for all the lovely comments. You know how much I appreciate them.
    And I want details on your pending trip!!
    Smile …

  6. ceanandjen says:

    These events and outings sound like just what the doctor ordered! I am so so glad that you are being given the opportunity to get out and about and just enjoy yourself with some very friendly companions. I hope that the rest of your weekend brings more adventures. xoxoxo

  7. cath says:

    it sounds like you’ve had a wonderful time with these lads… you must look forward to their visits!! i’m looking forward to seeing your photos… on my way over there now!

  8. susanna says:

    What a beautiful landscape! And yes, I can see that you are smiling. 🙂 I’m so glad that you were able to venture out with the boys. Love the idea of playing with the vibrating, dancing strings. I pictured purple and red yarn being twanged.

  9. Margaret says:

    Glad to hear that you have friends to wander with and that your legs still work. The stamps are on your non-pouch package to Ghor. I will send it out tomorrow…

  10. ren.kat says:

    Frida, I’ve only recently began to read your blog- have you ever written about how the gender limitations imposed on you there affects you? Could you point me to the post?
    Oh- and thanks for the feed-link!

  11. maddie says:

    Your boys look vigorous and sweet natured in that photo:)
    and watching water go by for an hour is one of my favorite
    ways to find my center.
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment on my post –
    if you need any help whatsoever – I would be happy
    to help in any small (or large) way I can
    I am off to check your photos:)
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. cath says:

    there must often be times when you have hard weeks… i admire your strength and perseverance. i think you would make an perfect fairytale princess. x

  13. 180/360 says:

    I love the second photo on this post! I will check out your photography site, as well. I think what you are doing in general is very interesting and different from all of the other blogs I read.

  14. Looks like a breath of fresh air!! And I love your descriptions of the conversation and the small miracles like birds and flowers you encountered on your walk… And your smile is beautiful!!

  15. i can *feel* your smile in your words…

  16. Laini Taylor says:

    Sounds like a great visit! That landscape is so stark and sort of “lunar” — beautiful in its own way. As for string theory, I have no idea what that actually is! Loved the picture in the last post — so wonderful those families have houses now. Yay, you!!!!

  17. Jeni says:

    Oh, how you needed that visit, huh? I wish I could have been at that dinner party – some of my favorite topics (except the string theory.)

  18. Jeni says:

    Oh, how you needed that visit, huh? I wish I could have been at that dinner party – some of my favorite topics (except the string theory.)

  19. Jeni says:

    Oh, how you needed that visit, huh? I wish I could have been at that dinner party – some of my favorite topics (except the string theory.)

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