Updates from Robert (Galbraith) in Afghanistan

Hello from Rob in Kabul

Salaam a la Comb!
Everything going fairly well in Kabul. Nothing works like clockwork in Afghanistan. There is a lot of e-mailing and waiting for the ok to go here or there, or the chance to cover this or that. We tried to get to Kunduz province with the Germans, but they keep throwing up roadblocks, the same with going to Kandahar with ISAF. We yesterday approached the Canadian Embassy, through a super guy there, Philip Hannan, to see if he could contact the Canadian Forces in Ottawa to get us down to Kandahar. They are considering that option and it looks like a very good possibility. We shall find out in the next day or two about that. Then it’s down south for a week or two embedded with our people. So we are keeping our daggers crossed. You should enjoy the next installment in The Suburban. Beryl has been a great supporter and we owe him so much for that. It is very difficult to keep you up to date as we always seem to be occupied contacting the militaries or meeting with generals and media officers, or researching my next installment of the Suburban or radio interview. After the first two weeks, with a nagging sinus and head cold, from the high altitude, dry air and heavy smog, we are continually drenching our handkerchiefs. This also drains our energy. We are staying at the Kabul lodge, which is very comfortable and has some great inexpensive food. So at least we have some comforts. Kabul, at first glance, doesn’t seem so dangerous, but considering there are Taliban and possible suicide bombers walking in our same footsteps, nothing can be taken for granted and being alert and street wise is a must. I am now into my chameleon mode, wearing local robes and scarves and blending in like a local. Being here is just a fabulous experience and I am in my element, danger and all. I just wish I was sitting by your side and able to describe the daily life I am living and what I am hearing and seeing from the locals. I have many political discussions with the locals and trying to be a balanced diplomat for my country. Even though we have met a few individuals who wish the coalition, and especially the Americans, would leave, they are most definitely in the minority. I feel so privileged being here and living the life and being able to discuss Afghan politics with the locals. Who need drugs when the stimulation of conversation is so rich and fertile. But of course we do have our connection, so we aren’t completely stimulant free. Today we went out to the Kabul bazaar and bought some local robes. the bazaar is a labyrinth of shops and kiosks where you can literally by anything you can imagine, except a good bottle of wine, which I hope you will toast to my health and success tonight. I will bring this world back to you and my friends at Wednesday-Night in the next month and a half. But my education has not ended. Wait till you see the photos! But I just don’t have the time and energy to be able to download you material on a regular basis, so please be patient. Think of you and Diana all the time, which gives me strength, and my good friends of Wednesday-Night. All my love and thoughts!
Rob./Kabul

10 October 2007
Salam from Robert (Galbraith) in Kabul
Hello David and Diana,
I just want to say that all is going well in Afghanistan and big hello to all the Wednesday Nighters, especially those who will be gathering this evening. I will be thinking of the evening and all my friends. I will miss the wine and hospitality. I hope, in the next couple of days to get some photos up onto my website and have been busy covering various shoots, from suicide bombings to de-mining operations, which I did today. Beryl will be running a piece in this week’s Suburban, “The Maple Leaf in Afghanistan”. I sent him a number of photos for the piece and you should be able to get these images from him if you contact him. We, my partner Guido Schmidt, and I, will be heading to Mazar a Shariff in the northwest in next few days for a week. Then back to Kabul and south to Kandahar. Everything is working out like clockwork. In the next couple of days I should be able to send you a more thorough account of my activities and photos. We are also shooting video and will try find high speed internet facility to send you video of us working and coverage of topics. So have a great evening and have a glass of goodness for me.
With you!
Rob.

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