Monthly Archives: October 2012


I leave Kabul in a few hours. Its been a great trip and things have gone very smoothly. I have experienced a hospitality and graciousness this time like never before. We are definitely not getting a full picture by watching mainstream news about Afghanistan. Yesterday I was walking with an Indonesian friend in Babur Gardens … Continue reading →

Posted in: Uncategorized

More Peace in Mazar

The women’s peace forum from District 8 met with us and told some stories. One case was a 10 year old that had been promised in marriage at birth to satisfy a family dispute. She was in 3rd grade when the parents decided to marry her off. The 10year old’s 3rd grade teacher investigated when … Continue reading →

Posted in: Afghanistan

District 9 Peace Council

I have had some significant conversations with two groups about how they are using newly acquired skills to mediate disputes in their communities.These groups are supported through the community peacebuilding project that I mentor. The local partner in Mazar is called Afghanistan’s Children A-New Approach (ASCHIANA).  Through a series of peacebuilding workshops community elders were … Continue reading →

Posted in: Afghanistan

No Public Face

As I have traveled around Kabul I have seen many women in the powder blue burqa. Totally obscured, it is impossible to tell who is under this covering. I have often wondered what it would be like to walk on the street and have no ‘public face’ as these women do. I am told that … Continue reading →

Posted in: Afghanistan

Conflict and Identity

In our Conflict Resolution Practicum class at Etown College we have been looking at the role of identity in conflict. Of the many parts of my identity, some have relevance here in Kabul and some don’t. The consultant in me -for sure, the teacher-yes. But the son, father and husband -only during off hours when … Continue reading →

Posted in: Afghanistan

First Agenda Item: Security

Against my very grain, I had to call for a car to drive me the 150 feet to the grocery where I purchased my breakfast ingredients to keep me healthy: Quaker Oats in a can, yogurt (locally produced), honey (locally produced), and walnuts (locally grown). Then we drove the 150 feet back to my guest … Continue reading →

Posted in: Afghanistan

Efficiencies I Take For Granted

There are many things that influence my work efficiency when working in Kabul. Things that I don’t normally face and that make my day interesting.   Road construction is normal all over the world but when it gums up already narrow, crowded streets and a 5 minute drive becomes 30 minutes it means I call … Continue reading →

Posted in: Afghanistan

The Imprecision of Cross Cultural Communications

It has really struck me that navigating across cultural boundaries is really an exercise in imprecision.  Even if I can am as clear and articulate as I am able about some concept of peacebuilding  it just cannot be heard in the same way with the gap of cultures spanning our experiential divide.   An office … Continue reading →

Posted in: Afghanistan


I am sitting here in the Dubai Airport waiting to fly to Kabul. The relative sterility of this airport, with its famous faces selling perfume, multinational pretzels and name-brand coffee, gives a false feeling of security. I know these faces, smells and tastes. The exotic nature of Kabul, waiting at the end of another flight, … Continue reading →

Posted in: Afghanistan

What is it?

I arrived in my hotel room in Dubai. In the upper right hand corner of the room by the window is this little circle. Any guesses as to what it is?  Hint: It has an arrow on it.

Posted in: Afghanistan