Some video from the working class neighborhood that I drove through every day. You see people walking, working, living life. You’ll hear the car radio in the background. Sorry for the glare, I had to take this with the window up – didn’t want to hang out of the car with a camera! You may have to watch this a couple of times to see some of the details.
So, today I am really missing my friends and colleagues in Kabul after two aggravating incidents. Yesterday an entitled and aggressive man sat next to me on the subway and expected/demanded I move over so his companion could sit where I was sitting. I was confused and wanted to move away from him, so I moved. Then today, I am walking down the street and another man rams into me and shoves me over with his shoulder. (This is in Queens, too!)
What’s it like to be a theater artist living in Afghanistan? Over the last 3 days the group shared personal experiences of what it is like to make theater in their provinces. We used their stories and created a “problem tree” – a tool used in popular education to analyze a present problem, what supports this problem, all the way down to the root causes. The problems they presented are somewhat familiar to me: no respect, no resources, and no support. These become the leaves, or fruit of the tree.
I am now in Wales, about to start my “hostile environments” training course before I head off to Kabul on the 10th. I’ve spent the last 3 days in London getting to know the BBC Afghan team, seeing friends, and combatting a cold. I’ve posted a video update. It’s been quite a mental rollercoaster. One day I am feeling upbeat, looking forward to my trip, the next day I am thinking of all the awful violent images I see on the news, imagining myself in the center of such things. I was seriously questioning myself, my decision, and my impulse to continually and adamantly unveil hope and goodness from those settings and places our society has placed at the bottom of the heap. My fear was strong, my strength wavered.