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KBI/Tzu Mission to Afghanistan and Cambodia

With Coordination provided by the AFPC - Asia Pacific Initiative

July 18, 2002
Termez, Uzbekistan
Aibak, Afghanistan

Greetings:

July 25, 2002

Kabul, Afghanistan

Today was spent primarily getting from Kabul to Bamiyan, meeting the folks in Bamiyan, and getting set up for work tomorrow.

We left our Kabul camp at 5:00 this morning for the 9 hour trip to Bamiyan. Except for the first hour, we are on windy dirt roads all the way. The roads were though, in very good shape.

As we were coming into Bamiyan, we saw our three trucks that we had dispatched from Kabul the night before last. They waited until early yesterday morning to head out for Bamiyan, and arrived at 8 p.m. last night. They were given assistance in Bamiyan to unload their trucks, with the supplies being placed in a secure building here. They were taking care of a few maintenance problems before heading out on their journey to Tashkent.

When we arrived in Bamiyan proper, we first saw the hillside where the Buddha statues were destroyed not long ago by the Taliban. It remains a hugely impressive site even without the actual statues.

We located our host in Bamiyan and were directed to the guest house where we would camp out. It only has electricity for a few hours in the evening, so we immediately set up our solar gear and satellite communication system on the roof, wired down into the room where we are staying.

After a co-ordination meeting, we were shown where our supplies were stored earlier this morning. All 870 or so boxes are in a dry store room, well secured. We showed the leaders here samples of what is in the boxes.

They led us up to the top of a hill where there is small refugee camp of 75 families. These are a combination of refugees from nearby areas, as well as families from Bamiyan who had their homes destroyed by the Taliban recently. All of the homes and commercial buildings in the area of what were the Buddha statues, are completely destroyed now. Ed remembers the people that lived in these homes when he and Stephen Huang were here last.

We will distribute clothing and blankets to these 75 families tomorrow and will then survey other more remote refugee camps in the area to make a determination as to how these might be addressed.

After some dinner, and plans being made on how to organize the distribution tomorrow, it is time for bed, and an early start in the morning.

Photos attached to this email include:

  • 4031: Ed and Walt on the road to Bamiyan
  • 4053: Hills and rocks approaching Bamiyan
  • 4058: Our aid trucks leaving Bamiyan for Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • 4071: Photo of the opening where the Buddha Statue stood before the Taliban destroyed it recently.
  • 4086: Working at night in the storage room, preparing for tomorrow's distribution.
  • 4092: Climbing the hill to the refugee camp at the top.

Thanks again for your interest. Tomorrow should be a good distribution day.

Take care,

Walt Ratterman, with Ed Artis and Adrian Belic

Knightsbridge International

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

July 25th, 2002

www.kbi.org

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