Friday, April 17, 2009

Wet Month(s)

The last couple of months have been pretty wet by Afghan standards. Keeping in mind that they've endured a ten-year drought here, some of the younger folks are truly amazed with the rain. We had some "global warming" fall in the city on 8 April, even the "old people" my age don't remember snow in April in Kabul. While we've had many inches of rain, the mountains around Kabul have had several feet of "global warming" to remind them that Nature will do as she pleases.

One of the guys I work with has family in Bamiyan Province to the west of Kabul. They get lots of snow in the winter, but rarely after the middle of March. It snowed again two days ago on top of snow that has been falling almost every day since mid-March. Now the big concerns are avalanches and the floods that are sure to follow when the snow melts. And we are "downhill" from that melt.

In Kabul, the big concern is that with all the flat, mudbrick roofs, the slow steady rain presents collapse danger. Many of the homes are wet inside due to the leaking roofs. In spite of the gloom brought on by day after day of rain, most people are pretty happy about it and between showers there is a flurry of gardening and planting. Trees and shrubs are hot-selling items right now as the residents take advantage of the moist soil to get things into the ground.

Flooded Streets
Pedestrians have it rough in this weather.
With few sidewalks, there's nowhere to walk.

Bring Out Yer Wellies!
The two girls in the back seem quite pleased with their footgear.

Umbrellas have been a hot-selling item of late.

A note about covered faces.
When girls cover their faces like this, it's more often to filter out the yucky air.
The schoolage girl population in Kabul explodes during school season.
Families in less secure areas send their daughters to Kabul to live with relatives so that they can go to school where it is safer. Additionally, many of the remote areas have no facility for education beyond 8th grade.

Snowy Mountains.
This view is looking west from downtown.

Old Man Begging
Between the showers, the beggars pick up the pace.
The Dari word for beggar is "faqir."

Pashtun Mom and Son
She has her burkha open as they look for sunglasses during a lull in the rains.

Misty Mountains
As storm clouds break, the mountains are shrouded in mist.
One of the reasons I love the mountains are all these cloud effects.

More Rain
Dad walking daughter to school.
Afghans understand the importance of education for their daughters.

That damn American influence again!
The local Marlboro stand.
Seriously though, our culture is the best weapon we have against "the forces of darkness."

Another Storm Approaches
Downtown by the river, this storm looks like waves crashing over the mountains north of town.


momcat said...

Thanks for the update. Your surroundings look very uncomfortable and wet but I'm sure the rain is welcome. In our province we know how that feels as almost the whole of Summer we had rain.

Charles Gramlich said...

I see the older people smiling. Reminds me of my dad when it would rain in the summer after a long dry spell.

The Muse said...

Hi J.L!

Wow that is a lot of rain! We're finally getting some rain in our part of Texas. We really, really needed it.

Love the photos! Those mountains in the background are truly spectacular.

Take care of yourself!

Vodka Mom said...

You field trips always fascinate me.

Thanks! And, as always, be safe......

sex scenes at starbucks said...

We just had a day of rain, then a day of snow, and then another day of rain. I mean, something was literally ALWAYS falling from the sky, usually in droves for THREE DAYS. Unheard of here in Colorado. So I get the whole wet weather bit. I don't have one pair of jeans with dry hems.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This is a fascinating blog from a place I'd love to learn more about!

Ello said...

Great photos as usual! And thanks for explaining the girls covering their faces. I did wonder.

How much longer are you posted there?

Jenn Jilks said...

Amazing photos and word pictures of another culture. I especially like the April Fool's Day post! As a retired teacher I used to suffer at the hands of my students on that day. Glad those days are done!