Sunday, November 29, 2009

We had a marvelous holiday in Goa in October. Here are photos from our day trip (by scooter) from Manga Beach to Tirakol Fort.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Updated Contries I've Visited web page

I have finally updated my "Countries I have visited (in chronological order)" web page, now with 50 countries (newest = Norway) plus nine more in which I did not spend a motionless night.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Left to right: Me, Sharky, and our security officer Staale Johansen

We don't actually have to wear our body armor all the time but apart from that this shows a bit of the way we live right now. (We were moved to the UNOCA compound after the attack on a UN guesthouse last month.) The buildings on the left is our World Health Organization home. Staale is a wonderful combination of protective and understanding. We'll miss him but we know he's done more than his share.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It has been AGES since I blogged anything except "Sharky and I are OK" after the various explosions and attacks here in Kabul. I have been so busy with work and moving that tonight seems like my first chance to really relax.

Sharky and I have now moved into our sixth home together - while we still have ten days until two years from the date we first set eyes on each other. The most recent move was for two reasons related to the attack on a Kabul guest house on October 28.

Actually we didn't know about it until the day and then only because I was nosily reading somebody's papers through between the seats in front of us on our flight home from India. The severity only began to set in when we found we had to wait a few hours at the airport before the UN gave permission for a car to collect us. Then we learned that there had been a terrible complex attack and that a colleague of one of our housemates had been killed (leaving three children). The entire UN population of Kabul went on alert with rumors of suspicious surveillance. A few days later Sharky saw a Corolla full of five men staring at our gate and then we had a visitor ask if we had any vacancies for an NGO that he couldn't name. We reported these incidents and the UN Department of Safety and Security advised everybody in our house to move. While we were still making preparations we learned that most guest houses in Kabul - including ours - were suddenly about to lose their UNDSS security approval so we had no choice. We spent two more days there (alone) and then moved to the large and heavily protected UNOCA compound where I work. This suddenly meant that I can enjoy a safe 500m walk to work instead of an uncomfortably and theoretically two hours a day in an armored Land Cruiser. Sharky, however, now faces the long ride whenever she wants to go into town.

I'm going to try to blog more often.