"...We are hoping to travel to Afghanistan at the end of the year and to spend two weeks there. Our first joint meeting was very positive and I feel a great trust in my companions. We all feel the importance of building our community and are prepared to put energy and time into this..."
"...The group we shall be staying with, Afghan Peace Volunteers, hold a Global Day of Listening on the 21st of each month. By using the internet, skype and telephones, it is possible to set up a time to speak to them
As we joined the skype conversation, a group of students from Long Island, New York had just finished their slot. Linked by Kathy we introduced ourselves and the young men in Kabul introduced themselves. They asked us questions and I was touched that they were so interested in St Francis House, particularly asking questions about how people got on and how conflict is resolved. Beth and Ariadne talked to them about their hopes to produce a book and a documentary on our visit and asked them for ideas about linking up when we return."
"It is now six days before our Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK delegation leaves for two weeks in Kabul. We had our final preparation meeting last Sunday and set up media coverage and made all sorts of practical decisions. Despite anxieties I am feeling confident and hopeful. We have certainly done the groundwork necessary, both individual and collective, and we are all clear about our objectives. It is wonderful to be going to Afghanistan as part of the wider Voices for Creative Nonviolence and communication from them has been thorough and encouraging. I feel very comfortable with my four companions and we are different in age and character but united in our aims. It is encouraging to see how we are all supporting each others’ projects and offering help.
Personally, the past few weeks have been at times fearful and at times exciting. I find that if I am not dealing with my day to day life in an ordered fashion, fears about the trip grow. If I live in the day and do the things required of me, then I become more positive."
"On 21 October our delegation met in the Peace News office for further planning and to talk to our friends, the Afghan Peace Volunteers on Skype
After the greetings Kathy, who is always aware of what is going on, asked us to talk about the demonstration we had been on in London the day before against the Government cuts to services. We told our friends about the reason for the demonstration and how it felt to be there. We asked them about demonstrations in Afghanistan and soon realised that the treatment we receive from police on such events is mild compared to what the Afghan people face.
During our conversation we talked about the demonstration in 2003 against the invasion of Iraq, attended by a million people. Our young friends responded with a poignant question: why had there been no such demonstration against the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001?
For these and more see:
susan (via blogs)