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A Blog From A Broad Abroad in Afghanistan
March - August 2007, with postscripts

For six months in 2007, I worked in Kabul, Afghanistan, helping a government ministry there with communications functions. I maintained a blog via a private Yahoo Group for friends and family, and I cleaned up those blogs later for public consumption and published them here in my web site - the links are below. If you were on that YahooGroup, then you have already read these; in fact, you've read the more-detailed, uncensored, and even more-opinionated versions. But I wanted to offer a public version of my Afghanistan blogs for others, particularly if it would be helpful to other female aid and development workers coming here (or going to any post-conflict zone).

This is my experience in Afghanistan, from March through August 2007. It will not necessarily be yours. This is a personal blog full of opinions -- it's not a series of newspaper articles. I make no claims to being accurate nor impartial. But I hope I come from a place of honesty and sincerity.

The dates note when things were written/published, NOT necessarily when they happened.


You can also view my photos from Afghanistan on my Flickr site. Be sure to click on photos so that can read my descriptions - I put a lot of info in those.

The BBC offers an excellent briefing on Afghanistan

Guide to Shopping in Kabul
No longer updated

Suggestions for Women Aid Workers in Afghanistan

If you are going to be in Afghanistan, I highly recommend Lonely Planet Afghanistan, if you can find such; it's no longer published.

If you want to make a difference in the lives of people in Afghanistan, I recommend you make a donation to CARE International. There is no one doing better work anywhere than CARE.

If you want to help regarding the stray dog and cat situation in Afghanistan, please make a donation to the Mayhew Animal Home and Humane Education Centre, and tell them you want your gift to go to their efforts in Afghanistan. They are working to help spay and neuter dogs and cats there, to train Afghans regarding veterinary medicine, and to change Afghans' cultural practices regarding dogs, which have no basis in the Koran. I have spoken numerous times with a representative of this organization; they ARE making a difference, and your support will help them do even more! Yes, I've made a donation.


A Broad Abroad | contact me

This is a personal non-business-related page

The personal opinions expressed on this page are solely those of Ms. Cravens, unless otherwise noted.



March 2007

Getting to Afghanistan / First Impressions of Kabul, March 2, 2007

Lack of Sleep & Where I Live, March 3, 2007

Bunker Down, March 5, 2007

Medieval Times, March 6, 2007

Lonely Planet and A Night Out, March 8, 2007

Women's Day in Kabul, March 8, 2007

No Bugles... (now with photos!), March 9, 2007

Computer viruses and a Day in My Life, March 12, 2007

About the Afghan Government, March 13, 2007

Yes, I heard the blast, March 14, 2007

Thoughts on the Head Scarf and Feminism, March 17, 2007

Nawrooz - Happy New Year 1386, March 20, 2007

Here a 'stan, there a 'stan, everywhere a 'stan 'stan, March 22, 2007

Three Weeks Here, March 23, 2007

The Only "Fundamental" Thing I believe in: Net Necessity, March 23, 2007

Shop But Don't Drop Me, March 24, 2007

Pashto Porno Party, March 27, 2007

Turn Me Loose!, March 28, 2007

Dogs in Kabul & the Koran, March 29, 2007

April 2007

Macs, Africans, movies and food, April 2, 2007

Shake it baby, shake it, April 3, 2007

Fear Me, April 3, 2007

Bomber near Afghan parliament kills six, April 6, 2007

A huge gift -- Tashakur, whomever/whatever, April 8, 2007

Mars needs women. So does Kandahar, April 12, 2007

Reflections on Part 1 of the Adventure, April 17, 2007

What Movies Are Like Kabul?, April 18, 2007

Afghan Women's Walking Dog, April 19, 2007

I'm Ready to Leave NOW, April 20, 2007

May 2007

I'm back in Kabul, May 3, 2007

blawgging is back, May 5, 2007

Paris, May 6, 2007

cue the inspirational music, please, May 7, 2007

UN staff member shot dead in Kandahar, May 9, 2007

Derby news, May 9, 2007

Welcome to Kinshasa, May 11, 2007

I start with a laugh, I end with a tear, May 12, 2007

Afghans Got Theater, May 13, 2007

He Destroyed the Buddhas, May 14, 2007

What makes me happy? Not a mahram, May 18, 2007

Trip to Pansjir (with photos!), May 20, 2007

Women Last, May 22, 2007

Weather in Kabul - an entirely non-political post, May 25, 2007

Extra, May 26, 2007

Charrow Ney (Dari for "Why Not?"), May 27, 2007

Today was my favorite day in Afghanistan, May 28, 2007

a game show star, an egg boy, journalists, & parties, May 31, 2007

June 2007

I Moved, June 2, 2007

Afghanistan: A Clothing Guide For Broads, June 4, 2007

Khareji Gone Mild!, June 6, 2007

Gender Mainstreaming in the Twilight Zone, June 7, 2007

Second female Afghan journalist killed, June 7, 2007

Moments I Love in Kabul & Missing Austin, June 8, 2007

Malalai Joya: next to be executed?, June 8, 2007

Making It Work Long Distance, June 10, 2007

I hate content filtering, June 13, 2007.

Nice Guys, June 17, 2007.

What Not to Do in Kabul, June 18, 2007.

We're #8! We're #8! We're better than Iraq!!, June 18, 2007.

No Delhi Belly - just a big one, June 19, 2007

Mosques, musicals, Parwan & bike baggage, June 21, 2007

Harry Potter!!, June 22, 2007.

The smells of Afghanistan & filthy space communists, June 22, 2007.

July 2007

Back for one more round, July 3, 2007

Kabul Kitty Demands, July 4, 2007

Round Three: Clean Water and Kvetching 'Bout DIA, July 6, 2007

My favorite Afghanistan photo ever, July 6, 2007

My Dream for Afghanistan someday..., July 7, 2007

Tourists then, tourists now, fried chicken & work, July 8, 2007

Dis & Dat, July 8, 2007

Sexual Harrassment of Female Aid Workers, July 11, 2007

Soviet Swimming Pools, July 13, 2007

Superior to Thou, July 14, 2007

Random Thoughts: X-Men & my bathroom strobe light, July 15, 2007

Karzai's a'comin'... not!, July 17, 2007

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, July 17, 2007

Elvis Peanut Butter Cup w/ banana crème layer, July 20, 2007

Jude Law in Afghanistan, July 20, 2007

I HAVE HARRY POTTER!!!, July 21, 2007

Jayne on the Associated Press NewsWire -- not kidding, July 21, 2007

press coverage making me laugh, July 21, 2007

finished HP, July 23, 2007

28 Days to Go... or less?, July 24, 2007

Please help pressure the Taliban re: the South Koreans, July 25, 2007

Men in burkkas and on roller blades, July 28, 2007

Stories About Afghanistan Sent to Friends in July

August 2007

Lots of Random Thoughts, August 1, 2007

Bilingual Peanut, August 2, 2007

Watch Your Step, August 4, 2007

I PETTED A DOG!!! (16 days to go), August 5, 2007

Go Fly a Kite, August 6, 2007

Will I Miss It? (12 days to go), August 9, 2007

the dancing rat, August 10, 2007

Have things changed for women in Afghanistan since the Taliban, August 11, 2007

Kitty, carpets, Koreans & Kabul, August 12, 2007

Media, burkas, food & prayers - must be Afghanistan!, August 13, 2007

Suicides Among Afghan Women on the Rise, August 14, 2007

Afghan Girl Sold in Exchange for a Horse, August 14, 2007

Kabul Kitty Too, photos & general Afghan blabble, August 17, 2007

Stories About Afghanistan Sent to Friends in August

Kidnapping nearby, August 18, 2007

It's scary here, August 19, 2007

Kittens Against Terrorism, August x, 2007

hostage has been freed, August 20, 2007

Last Kabul Post!, August 20, 2007

Afghanistan Postscript, August 22, 2007

January 2008

Afghanistan Postscript Part Deux, January 17, 2008