Border Hopping

Dec 27, 2010   //   by LouBu   //   Uncategorized  //  1 Comment

Jalal­abad sits at the crux between cen­tral and south Asias, tucked into the moun­tains near the Kyber pass– the famous gate­way to the Indian sub­con­ti­nent. The peo­ple here are Pash­tuns, and their tribes strad­dle the polit­i­cal bound­ary between Pak­istan and Afghanistan. I’ve heard ref­er­ence sev­eral times to “Pash­tunistan,” a coun­try that exists in only a cul­tural con­text, encom­pass­ing all the Pash­tun peo­ple from both sides of the boarder. The red line on the map was drawn when British India pushed…

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What’s NORMAL anyway?

Dec 26, 2010   //   by peretz   //   long  //  2 Comments

Words are pow­er­ful.  You read them and they paint a pic­ture. The prob­lem is, some things are hard to describe, our con­texts are too dif­fer­ent. Humans have an amaz­ing capac­ity to adapt, and we have already adapted. You’ve seen some pic­tures and some videos.  We’ll keep those com­ing. Once a week, I’ll try to write a longer post.  Lou and I have been here a week now and it’s time to share more fully. It’s chal­leng­ing to back­track this process of…

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Turkey Slaughter

Dec 25, 2010   //   by peretz   //   videos  //  6 Comments

We went shop­ping for Christ­mas din­ner in the bazar. Todd (Huff­man) had in mind to get a turkey and our dri­ver helped us find one. The bird was dis­as­sem­bled in front of our eyes.

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Merry Christmas from Jalalabad

Dec 24, 2010   //   by LouBu   //   photos  //  1 Comment

This is Dave. He’s our tribal elder here at the Taj Guest­house — Malik Dave. He runs the Syn­ergy Strike Force, which Peretz and I are now part of. He’s a US tank gun­ner turned MD PhD turned hippie-humanitarian aid-tech guru. He’s respon­si­ble for the flex­i­ble, organic nature of the projects we work on and gets batches of money to make them hap­pen. Last night at our bar (the only bar in East­ern Afghanistan) he decided to take a holiday…

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Panorama of Jalabad Valley

Dec 23, 2010   //   by LouBu   //   photos  //  No Comments

Panorama of the val­ley where we are liv­ing, taken from the top of a Bud­dhist bur­ial mound. You can see the Kabul river in the dis­tance with the caves Osama Bin Laden lived in when he first came to Afghanistan behind it.

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Explosively Sweet

Dec 22, 2010   //   by peretz   //   photos  //  No Comments
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Take me for a ride in Kabul

Dec 21, 2010   //   by LouBu   //   videos  //  1 Comment

This is footage I shot out of a taxi win­dow while the boys and I were in stop and go traf­fic on Tai­moni Street, head­ing for Pajh­wok news.

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The Russians are coming.

Dec 20, 2010   //   by peretz   //   Uncategorized  //  1 Comment

In the 80s I was a lit­tle boy grow­ing up in the Soviet Union and everyone’s older brother was either going or busy­ing them­selves about how to get out of going to Afghanistan. Mil­i­tary ser­vice was manda­tory. If you didn’t study hard and get into uni­ver­sity, the gov­ern­ment had an alter­na­tive edu­ca­tion in mind for you. “Study hard so you will go to uni­ver­sity,” the teach­ers warned us, “so you will not die in Afghanistan.” Hamid was our taxi dri­ver from…

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Afghan War Rug

Dec 19, 2010   //   by peretz   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

In a coun­try where most peo­ple are illit­er­ate, the tapes­try of his­tory is woven into the rugs.

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FabFi — FabLab Jalalabad

Dec 17, 2010   //   by peretz   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Meet the home­made FabFi mesh net­work. We are bring­ing some indus­trial equip­ment to replace the most used edges on the net­work. (bonus if you can spot the geo­graph­i­cal error in the pow­er­point presentation.)

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