Today started hours earlier than normal for me with a visit to the Egyptian Hospital to volunteer with the Afghan women and children.The day was cold and dreary, with almost constant rain so when I arrived at the office, my teammates were debating about going, but I was like “Heck no, I just got up 3 hours early! I’m going!” So another team member and I drove over to the hospital which seemed to be bustling with its usual chaos despite the rain. The Afghan women surrounded us as they typically do, asking for shoes and socks. It is such a difficult position to be put in because we know that there are shoes and socks available to the women and children so often times when they are asking for these items it’s because they need them for family or to sell. So they wear just sandals to the hospital which on a cold, rainy day like today really pulls your heart strings because you can tell the children are suffering, but at the same time the rational part of you knows that in some sense they are trying to take advantage of your generosity. It is such a difficult line to tread.
My team member and I played with the kids and corrected their English lessons. I brought a sparkly strip of stickers as a reward for finishing their work which was a huge hit and I am definitely going to look into having stickers sent over. As usual they played with my hair and today I also brought a small bottle of nail polish which went over well. I would like to see more structure to their lessons since some are far more advanced in English than others, but unfortunately with only volunteer resources this is very difficult to arrange.
After the Egyptian Hospital I had a little bit of down time before I went to a volunteer meeting about the shadow Boston Marathon that is being run here in Bagram next week. My team members and I have volunteered to work at the start/finish line so I went as our representative to get the details. Then it was back to the office where a unit came into the canteen and put on The Ugly Truth. I cut up another brick of mom’s fudge and brought it out to them and it was devoured 5 minutes into the movie. I meant to also share that the other day I put out a similar plate in the canteen and the whole thing disappeared… and I mean the whole thing, plate and all!