Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shooting through the Bulletproof Glass: Image 1

Due to security restrictions in Kabul, I'm not allowed to leave the Embassy compound for social reasons, like shopping or going out to eat. However, I still get out quite a bit for meetings around the city, so I have many opportunities to take pictures, albeit from the backseat of a moving, armored vehicle. Terrible traffic often makes me late for meetings, but the slow speed of the car can enable me to capture some interesting scenes. For the next week or so, I'll try to post a photo a day of some of the people and places I've photographed (usually with my iphone) from the car.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Napping on sandbags

Don't judge, we've all been there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

notebooks and waiting rooms

I just finished handling my first VIP visit as a control officer. It was probably one of the most difficult, least rewarding jobs I've ever had. Arranging everything from meetings with the President to getting delegation members on the cafeteria meal plan was incredibly stressful. I won't get into the details, but it made me seriously question my career choice. Even if I don't have to serve as a control officer again after this tour, it is still worrying that I might one day become like the people on the delegation, if I continue to advance in my career.

Anyway, at least I had a few free minutes when the delegation members held their meetings, and I stayed outside to work on logistics. This is where I waited at the Presidential palace, notebook, sunglasses, and schedule in hand:

Three cups of tea and a soap opera at the Ministry of the Interior:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturdays in Kabul

I haven't posted in a while because I keep forgetting to take my camera when I go out. I took these pictures with my iphone today, when I was visiting a grantee around town in Kabul. This is just a typical street scene, with a giant 3-story mansion on one side of the dirt road, and a pile of trash on the other, with mountains in the background. There is a surprising abundance of large 2- and 3-story houses in Kabul, surrounded by high opaque walls. I don't even want to know what corrupt ex-warlords currently occupy them...

This is just more evidence of the impracticality of heels in Kabul -

Very grainy picture, taken from the car:

I'm always surprised by the number of young guys just hanging around on weekdays. The unemployment rate must be insanely high, but I don't know the official rate.