Although we had to endure almost 20 hours of uncomfortable airline travel, it is all absolutely worth it to be with our friends. So far, we’ve been able to do a writing exercise with some of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students, as well as spend a day teaching and discussing communication challenges with the business administration students. We also visited the embroidery and sewing classes and electrical class. One of our teammates is an electrician, so he shared his knowledge and advice with those students. In a few months, they will graduate with the tools and skills necessary to start their own business and provide for their families. Later this afternoon, we assisted the staff in food distributions to refuge families in Kabul. These families have been living in provinces all around Afghanistan, but are now internally displaced peoples (IDPs) because the Taliban has destroyed their homes. Over 13,000 refugee families have moved to Kabul (most of them in the last few months) to escape the Taliban. They are so brave, courageous and committed to getting back on their feet and improving their lives and the lives of their families. They were extremely grateful for the food donations, and gladly welcomed us into their homes and shared their stories with a bunch of strangers from America. Although very busy, today was incredible. We got to see the future of Afghanistan growing brighter and more beautiful.
I also wanted to share how wonderful it is to be with the Sozo staff. On my first trip, I felt so honored that the staff welcomed and loved me, even though they had never met me before. That was kind and gracious, both things that they absolutely are. But now that I’m back again, they know me, and still love me, which is even more special. During this trip in particular, the staff and students and families feel even more like our friends. This week my teammate and I got to celebrate our birthdays in Afghanistan, and the staff had prepared a cake and a party at the school for us. I felt fully known, loved, and cherished by all the staff.
Also, one of our drivers that I rode with most of my trip last year, was with us again today. He drove us to the school and to some of the home visits. While one of the other staff members translated, he and I talked about my return to Kabul, about staff members back in Colorado, and joked about the crazy Kabul traffic. This wasn’t a formal, business conversation, I was just catching up with an old friend. That’s how all the staff interact with the teams, especially team members who come back again and again. This Sozo team is our family, and we are theirs. I am so excited to spend the upcoming days with them, and many years to come.
Thank you for your continuous prayers and financial donations, which make it possible for teams like ours to be here. We couldn’t do it without you! Tashakur!