And the Journey Begins…

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I looked forward to the four days we were to spend en route to Kabul in Copenhagen with my best friend from college. From there we flew to hot, steamy Teheran, arriving after midnight on a wild ride from the airport with a driver who ran all the red lights and only put his headlights on when he saw another car approaching the intersection. We spent a full day and night in that modern city.

During the last lap to Kabul, we left at dawn for our flight over the desert. I had grown up on an ocean. I was moving to an ocean of sand and remember the distinct feeling of awe at this sight. Beneath the plane lay mile after mile of undulating desert. The only man-made thing I could detect below looked like a series of oversized pothole covers. I would learn they were an access to the karezes-a centuries-old network of underground water channels.

Where there was water in the valleys below, I could see slivers of green. Those valleys, I would discover, were little Shangri-las. Finally we landed in a valley with the nomads' black goatskin tents near the runway.


As we stepped out of the plane onto the airfield, I felt as if I was standing atop a roof. I could see for miles to a horizon lined with the black, snow-capped Hindu Kush mountains. Whereas it had been hard to breathe in the stuffy Teheran air, there was a fresh breeze blowing here. The many colored flags on the terminal were waving and on the balcony sat a line of women covered from head to toe in chadri - mostly pale blue with one deep red and another green. This scene provided an enigmatic welcome to our arrival in Kabul on our daughter's tenth birthday - June 9, 1966.



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