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A Postcard from Ghor

Kids showing curiosity

Story by 1st Lt Indre Sejoniene,
PRT Chaghcharan

Ghor, Afghanistan (Jan. 27, 2013) - Snow capped mountainous terrain, narrow trails between villages squeezed between rapid slopes of lonely river, and steep hillsides – this is the winter view of Ghor province that struck ISAF Lithuanian soldiers of Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Chaghcharan.

Villages are mostly in valleys, situated near the river. Most villages are not very large. Sometimes no one can say exactly how many people live in a village; they know only the number of families living there.

The houses are made from the same clay as the ground under villagers’ feet. In some places, the people of Ghor have more modern houses, but in the remote parts of the province it is too hard to deliver building materials and there’s no choice but to use natural clay.

The first thing soldiers see in every village are the children. They are not only a sign that it is safe to enter, but also a very pleasant welcome. Afghan soldiers and policemen distribute warm clothes and other aid with the help of the PRT.

Locals usually meet soldiers and police peacefully and gleefully, and ask for news from the center of the province. They are simply glad to see strangers, even if they wear uniforms. They normally feel content with the security situation, as the police patrol the area on a regular basis.

There is always an opportunity to chat with locals who can speak English. Discussions usually focus on the daily routine and the issues of the village. It is good to hear from some of them that they feel safe and are supporting the Government and their security forces.
Women do not show their faces, young girls are sometimes afraid of cameras, but after a few moments they are happy to see their faces in the screen. Boys are more intrepid, they are very curious.

Despite tough living standards, the people of Ghor know how to deal with everyday problems. There can be happiness, even with the lack of clean water or communications. In spring and summer they work hard, in autumn they prepare for winter – every year these villages follow the circle of life.