Monday, October 10, 2011

Follow the Mughals

I haven't posted on this blog in a few weeks because I've been traveling on my third R&R vacation. It's actually referred to as a "Regional Rest Break" or RRB, but instead of staying within the region, I flew back home to Texas. Since I didn't take any pictures during my current vacation, I thought I would post some additional pictures taken on and around September 13, the day that the Embassy was attacked.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was out in the city on that day, organizing an event at a restored park and palace complex, Babur's Garden. In the picture below, our Embassy moderator is introducing the panel of Afghan women leaders to the audience of mostly female Afghan students. The first suicide attack occurred just a few minutes after I took this picture.

Hours later, and we're still there! We moved down into the basement, where we furiously sent emails and stress-ate the mountains of croissants I had brought for audience refreshments.

The picture below just shows the exterior of the building complex, with local residences built on the hillside above. The palace is built in a U-shape, with the open end overlooking the city.

A blurry shot, taken from the window of the car after a rain, when we were finally leaving Babur's Garden.

As a disclaimer, the following two pictures are NOT of Afghanistan! The day after the attack, I was scheduled to fly to New Delhi for a conference, along with several other officers. Our trip was delayed, but I decided to fly out on Friday to attend the final day of the conference. It was well worth the effort, as I was able to spend the entire weekend in New Delhi (3 hours of conferencing + 2 days of touristing = my kind of business travel!). I slept, shopped, and ate all day on Saturday. On Sunday, upon realizing that I hadn't seen a single monument/museum/attraction, I asked a taxi driver to take me to one awesome place that I could see in 20 minutes or less. So I ended up at Humayun's Tomb. I had no idea what I was viewing at the time, but according to Wikipedia, it was built for the son of Babur (the emperor buried at Babur's Garden in Kabul). In my rush to leave Afghanistan, I had just followed the path of the Mughals!

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