I took another trip outside the wire today. This time, to the mountains of Durnama in Koh Band district of Kapisa Province.
Lots of people live in the mountains of Afghanstan. I’m not really sure why, but I think it has to do with the availability of water. (It collects as snow at the top and runs down the side of the mountain.) When I say they live in the mountains, I’m not talking about living on a plateau or valley within the mountain (like we think about people living in Aspen or Big Bear,) … I’m talking about Afghans living IN the mountains … In houses with foundations that are slanted almost 45 degrees upward on the side of the mountain itself!
I added some new pictures. See the “Afghanistan Pics” page to see images from my trip today.
As we rode through Durnama, I saw lots of houses in the mountains. There are children in these houses. Naturally, children love to run and jump and play. One would think with the hilly, rugged terrain, they wouldn’t be able to move around freely. Not so.
As our convoy drove through the village, the children ran alongside us, waving and trying to get our attention (hoping we would throw them some candy or water.) They weren’t running on the street, but on the SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS!
They were like little gymnasts, hopping and jumping from one rock to the next, sometimes jumping to higher rocks, or dropping to lower rocks, depending on the lay of the land. They had no problems keeping up with our trucks, and didn’t seem to get tired or winded. What’s more, they were doing it while WEARING FLIP-FLOPS! The way they leapt up and down without falling or losing their footing reminded me of the video game, Qbert. (My reference to QBert is yet another indicator of my age bracket. Google it, young’uns!)
I was amazed to see the kids doing this. But later, I thought about exactly what I was seeing.
Today, I witnessed little kids simply running and jumping up a mountain in hopes of getting some candy. But I can assume that in the future, these children will grow to be adults … Adults who will be used to the rugged terrain, able to run long distances without tiring, have crazy amounts of stamina and will know every nook and cranny of their terrain. These children, knowingly or unknowingly, are being raised to master the art of mountain living … something coalition forces are currently working on adapting to today.
I sure hope, by the time they grow up, they’re on our side.