Afghanistan Diary
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
 
One CARE worker was kidnapped last night. Everybody is quite upset. One of my friend knew the victim quite well. In a separate incident, eight rockets were fired to a UN compound.

We had a security meeting this morning that fell short of reassuring me. The fleaky argument that "now the kidnappers have what they want, they are not likely to attempt another kidnapping" strikes me as complete rubbish. At any rate, our curfew has been extended and I may try harder to abide by it. We may also soon be carrying a radio in addition to our cell phone.

You might be thinking that it must be real scary to live in Kabul with its abductions, rockets, bombs and the fear of riots. The truth is that it is not. To the contrary, the challenge is to be scared enough. We rationalize risk a lot (you have more of a chance to be shot in New York, etc.) but deep down, we are all aware that the situation is not good. However, just because we *know* about the danger, does not mean that we *feel* it. Perhaps, this is also because we are used to associate danger with specific things, like run-down inner city neighborhood with grafitis and gangs for instance. At any rate, it takes a lot of effort to remain cautious, especially given that security measures can be a real hassle.

I hesitate to suggest to management the possibility of fitting all vehicles with APRS that is a system to broadcast coordinates (measures by GPS) using a low-cost radio transmitter. In that way we would be able to know everybody's position at any time (big brother is watching). The thing is that I don't know anything about radios, therefore I don't have the expertise for it, and I don't know how hard it is to figure it out.
 
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This is my diary. My name is Lev and I work in Kabul for a non-governmental organization (dacaar.org).

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Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
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