This project focuses on documenting, through art, the trials and tribulations of Canadian soldiers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Arrival

Getting to Afghanistan is much easier than I thought. All it take is 3 flights and 18hrs of flying over 3 days. Easy-peasy. I even found the experience of flying Ariana (Afghanistan's national airline) not unpleasant: we had great seats, food was decent everything was pretty well organized. I will state one simple fact: the plane was ancient. The crate we flew in/on should, by all account, not be able to fly. But it did and it got us to our destination ahead of time and even cheery... and then you land in Kabul.

The Kabul International Airport looks like its getting some major investment thrown into it. Despite all the new seats and fixtures, its still a bit of a gong-show going through customs. Thankfully Shaun had a friend Dave and his assistant meet us at the airport and take us to their secure villa. CanPro Villa is an oasis in the middle of Kabul. Our host pointed out several places on route where suicide attacks have taken place. He also pointed out where the trauma-pack was in the truck and where safe houses were on route in case we were attacked. This isn't paranoia. Indeed, Dave was attacked inside a market just down the street from his villa back in January this year. A bullet and grenade wound latter and he's showing us how he escaped the attack. There is a grit to this city that is quite humbling. One one side you see abject poverty while on the other, you see Afghan's trying to meek out a living through industry and trade. Its a city in transition. Courage isn't necessarily confined to the act of strapping on a gun and going on patrol: sometimes the very essence of courage is the fact you can start a business in a place where things have a tendency to blow up all the time.

So again Dave, thank you for your hospitality and help.