KBI/Tzu Mission to Afghanistan and
With Coordination provided by the AFPC - Asia Pacific Initiative
July 27, 2002
Another good day distributing clothing supplies to people who desperately need them.
First, a correction to yesterday's update. In it, I referred to helping a refugee camp with 75 people. That should have read 75 families. Sorry. The average family size there seemed to be 6 or 7 so the people helped yesterday was around 450 to 500.
Our plan today was to leave at sun-up to get up the winding road into the mountain with our supply truck, and start the distribution. Our truck left almost on time, but we were somewhat delayed. We had noticed a leaking tire last night, and the tire shop in the bazaar was closed, so we had to get that fixed first thing.
After that we noticed that our second vehicle had a tire slowly losing air, so we went to the market to fix it. After it was fixed, we were rounding up some supplies to take to help Ed in performing some first aid for a couple of people we met yesterday, and then we had another tire go flat. It was 8:30 or 9:00 before we made it out of town.
Still, much better to have the flats in town.
When we arrived in the town - Ahkrobhat - we unloaded all of the clothes from the truck. This included hundreds of boxes of coats, pants, shoes, T-shirts and sweatshirts.
First, we set up for a distribution to the 100 families to whom we issued cards last night.
Following that first distribution, we were visited by the leader of a small nearby village that was in similar conditions of poverty as Ahkrobhat. They had 40 families, and we set up a distribution for them while the leader got the people to come down to our lay-down area.
Once that distribution was complete, we set up for another 100-family distribution in Ahkrobhat, and completed it.
Each distribution provided families with roughly 3 to 4 pairs of pants, a sweatshirt, 2 T-shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, and 4 winter coats. The coats were all provided by "Children to Children Foundation" and were in excellent condition. In fact, more than half of them were brand new with the tags still on them. It gets very cold and windy up in this town (10,000 feet above sea level), and some of the people were putting their coats on already, and wearing them. (There is quite a large temperature difference between Bamiyan and Ahkrobhat - probably 20 to 30 degrees F at least.)
Between yesterday and today, we delivered clothing to 315 families. At an average of 6 or 7 people in each family, we helped about 2000 people here in Bamiyan this trip.
Last night we met a man who had recently severely cut his finger. (He was lucky it was still hanging on), and a little girl with quite a wound on her forehead. Ed rounded up enough medical supplies from the boxes we had shipped via Remedy International to Bamiyan, and took these supplies with us today. Between distributions, he set up shop in the school tent, and treated both of these wounds. There is no question that the man would have lost his finger had this not been done. And this would have been the luckier outcome as the infection was already severe, and the pain existing all the way up his arm to his shoulder.
The day ended late in the afternoon, with enough time for us to get back in the evening light. We made an "up-close" visit to where the Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban. It is hard to imagine what prompted the Taliban to destroy these statues and all of the buildings around them. But it is even harder to imagine what drove them to kill all of the men, women and children - by the thousands - that they found in this province.
Tomorrow, we will be on our way early to the Panjshir. We think it is a 9 or 10 hour drive. The supplies we have going there for distribution are leaving Kabul for Panjshir today, and we should meet them there.
Photos included with this update include:
- 4217: Truck with supplies pulling into field at Ahkrobhat
- 4275: Road up to Ahkrobhat
- 1113: Starting 100-family distribution
- 1146: People with their family packs of goods.
- 1173: Two Girls in Ahkrobhat
- 1238: Boy with new donated coat and shoes.
- 1186: Ed: "I'm just too old for this.....I'm exhausted."
Thanks again for all of your interest and help.
Walt Ratterman, with Ed Artis and Adrian Belic
July 27, 2002