The fabulous PARSA staff invited me to their compound for dinner and a sleepover last night. I had to share my room with these guys to the right. They were the first round of dolls made by local women for the PARSA gift shop, but didn't quite cut it-- eyes askew, over- or under-sized heads, overall not as artful as further iterations. But still, too delightful to throw away, so they sit on the executive director's windowsill.
When I was getting ready to bed down last night, one of the compound cats shot in the door. I'm allergic and tried to chase it back out again, but it whirled around the room, always out of reach. I thought it was just trying to hang out with me--cats love to make me sneeze-- but no! It jumped on the bed and lunged for one of the dolls, dragged it behind a cupboard and tried to claw off its beard. One of the Afghan members of the PARSA family rushed in and shouted, "He is trying to kill Osama!"
With the cat out of my air, I spent a lovely night in Marnie's office. I was surrounded by the beautiful art work of Afghanistan-- the rugs, the embroidered panels, the painted cupboard. I could hear the water sloshing around in the well outside, the wind passing through the wheat, the dogs' occasional bark, the goats' occasional bleat. I imagined I could hear the mountain, just over the wall at the end of the compound.