In October 2011, I was able to visit Afghanistan for a ten day research trip. The bulk of my time was spent in Kabul and in the South Korean PRT in Parwan province. I was fortunate to have a stop-over in Bagram Air Field, a place of great historical interest to those interested in the Soviet conflict in Afghanistan. The South Korean Provincial Reconstruction Team is perched on a rise, above a lush and green valley, fed by underground streams.
In the distance, the Hindu Kush beckons, and anyone familiar with history knows the terrible suffering that have taken place among those beautiful peaks. Sunset was a peaceful time on-base, in which the mountains turned gold. Sometimes, in the distance, C130s circled lazily for their approach to Bagram. My Korean hosts were friendly and helpful to my research mission and I envied their sense of purpose. It was odd eating Korean food for dinner, walking back to my hut, and watching the sun set over the Afghan mountains.
Kabul was also a treat, which included a visit to the heavily-fortified US Embassy. For obvious reasons, I have not put photos on the website, but I will always remember the surrealism in eating a burrito by the tennis courts with friends as military Blackhawks roared by overhead on night missions.