Remember these guys? Do you recall that I mentioned in that post that we were cooking up "schemes to walk all the way to the summit one weekend"?
Well, after various comings and goings we are all back in town again. Yesterday the three of us headed out in an attempt to reach the even-farther-away hill. There is nothing better, in this town, than striding out over the hills with two good-hearted, funny, do-gooder blokes for company.
We pushed ourselves a little harder and further this time and I was not the only one huffing and puffing up the final hill, but we got there and although I don't have a photo to prove it (I was walking camera-free yesterday) I can assure you the view was stunning.
As we walked (for two and a half hours this time) we talked about our work, the challenges of our isolation and the frustrations of our failures. We talked about our respective plans to travel home for Christmas (two of us are leaving Afghanistan at Christmas and the third will be home until mid-January) and our concerns that we may be overwhelmed by the abundance. We talked about how will will respond (or how we hope we will respond) and what we are looking forward to most.
We talked about books we are reading about Afghanistan and about developments in the southern part of Ghor. We talked about what a man could do to capture a woman's heart (I suggested making her icecream - a little tip I picked up from Boho-boy).
We talked about why we are here and what we hope we are achieving. We laughed at ourselves and at each other, we laughed at our puffing and wheezing. We posed for a self-timer portrait of the three of us at the summit, although not on my camera or I would show you all the proof that we really got there.
Then we started to talk about dinner, which I had decided to host at my place, and we got hungry. So we walked back, found the fourth member of the tiny community we call ours, and set about cooking up a pasta storm in my teeny kitchenette.
As we cooked and ate we talked some more. We also had some treats to share with each other. I had chocolate from a lovely friend who thought of me in the midst of all that she was going through herself. He had cheese that he had carried all the way from his home in France. She had more chocolate. He had one precious bottle of red wine. We swapped books we had finished reading and shared our treats and I knew that each small luxury was appreciated by this wee group more than a feast or a pile of gifts would be appreciated in many other settings.
We were very thankful.
Thankful for our cheese, chocolate and red wine.
Thankful for the chance to live and work here.
Thankful for each other's company and friendship.
I guess although only one of us is American we kind of got the idea of this Thanksgiving deal.