Travels in Afghanistan (5) ~ Mary Smith

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.

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Hussain when in a good mood.

Continue reading at Mary Smith’s Place

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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4 Responses to Travels in Afghanistan (5) ~ Mary Smith

  1. Dalo 2013 says:

    Beautiful writing – Mary’s adventures in Afghanistan show that even among such sorrow as war and political turmoil, there is beauty to be found.


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