Approaching Kabul

Mountainous Terrain

It is about 4 pm Thurs Aug 1 in Cali, and roughly 12 hours later where I am. I have slept fitfully in the night here because my body thinks it is day; when it is night for my body, the world says it is day and one can sleep again only fitfully. Now, this has been going on since Tuesday night, when I boarded the flight to Dubai.

So many things to do to ready oneself for a 2-month-long trip in foreign parts.
Now that I am here, I understand why over time I developed the “travel light” slogan. Two-thirds of what I brought will not be needed. And of the one-third that will be, it is going to have to do. It is unbearably (for me) hot and humid, just like Mombasa (and we all know how well I do in heat). There is no a/c; a fan that doesn’t help unless you are standing two feet from it. I needed to pack the lightest, lightest of body-covering cotton, with nothing hugging the body, and to have brought my threadbare worn-out pajamas as these are too tight and the top too close-fitting (and hot!). Why don’t I go with my gut—but then that is the point of this whole venture, isn’t it, to help and in doing so, discover (or recover?) what my raison d’être is in the larger scheme. Find my voice. Follow my heart.

Quitting cold turkey was another extremely stupid idea. The nicotine pills have me wired and unable to sleep, even though I am taking the tiniest amounts possible. It was hard when I quit 5-6 years ago before a fight with Peter undid the 3 days of watching my life pass before my eyes as I tried to quit, and it is hard now. Others have written about the grief that ensues as you give up a “friend” who has been with you through thick and thin, and who allows you to retain composure and a sense of dignity in challenging situations.

And for me, it is so indelibly connected with Nicholas, whom I think of everyday for what was, could have been, the loss, the betrayal, the hurt, the anger, the final dissolution, the not making peace, being told on the last time I talked to him that I would not be forgiven: WAIT A MINUTE! who needs to forgive whom? So I am still angry, but also completely ready to let go and have forgiven a million times, but then some little thing comes back. I forgot the 2nd anniversary of his death on July 29th as I was so upset over the birthday situation and so frenzied about being ready to depart July 30th. And then something came up about Yves in France and his betrayal, and it all came flooding back, and I had to get myself to the place of forgiveness yet again, goodness, quitting is the stupidest thing I could have tried to lay on this trip. But for 35 years if not more, that is how I have tried to get through rejection, and N’s constant rejection in ways small and large. I tell you, loyalty is highly overrated. The first time he walked was one thing, but what did it take—14, 15 walkouts before the final one? And I am still loyal, and have lost 3 decades of my life with no partner? What is the matter with me?

The internet is not working.

The food is delicious. All cooked in oil and spices and totally not the way to lose any weight. I got a meal at 2.30 am here, the meal before the day’s fast (it is Ramadan). My body thought it was lunchtime and was sending distress signals, so this was a good thing.

At the guesthouse I met a Nepali who works on micro hydropower and in the projects he works on in Badakhshan, villages have electricity where cities don’t, and nets are made for the fish to get through, while the dams are small and cleaned often to prevent algae takeover.

It’s now 4.40 am and I am going to try to sleep again. Sigh.

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