Reblogged from Mary Smith’s Place:
We pulled up outside a flat roofed, mud built house, its window frames painted a cheerful blue. Here we would live and work until the permanent clinic, already under construction, was complete. Three people hurried out and I was introduced to Ali Baba, the clinic chowkidar (watchman) who, in halting English made a little speech of welcome to which I replied in hesitant Dari. Baqul, the cook, grinned, shook hands and disappeared to organise tea. It was some weeks before I learned that his given name was Ali Ram, and that every time I called him Baqul I, along with everyone else in the village, including his children, was addressing him as “Old Man”. The third member of the team, Ismail, the field assistant, needed no introduction as we had met in Karachi.
Standing at the highest point in the village, the house looked over a view of golden wheat fields beyond the edge of the village whose houses were spread out in a large semi-circle around a central well. Orchards of mulberry, apricots and peaches had roses blooming between the trees and all around rose the mountains, their peaks piercing a brilliant blue sky. I could just catch the musical sound of a mountain stream rushing over its stony bed and, from further off, the tinkle of goat bells was accompanied by the reedy piping of the goatherd. I fell in love.
Continue reading at Mary Smith’s Place