The Afghanistan diaries, starting soon

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Surprised? Well, if you know me only a little bit, you shouldn’t be. If you don’t, well, alright then, I’ll let this one pass, for now.

Late January, I will be leaving for Afghanistan. It’s going to be a two month project, which might be followed by a two month extension, somewhat later on. I will be based in Kabul and don’t plan to get enlisted for training in any fundamentalist training camp.
Nevertheless, I do expect to be under surveillance of the AIVD, the Dutch FBI (what a crappy site!). This because of the current tense situation regarding Muslims in the Netherlands. Not that I am one, of course, God willing, but, you know.

The possibility of me going to Afghanistan was mentioned while Betsy and I were still in Zimbabwe earlier this year, when it became clear that project was going to be canceled early. Only in the last two weeks did this project finally pan out.

So what’s going to happen? Glad you asked.
I will be working as an IT consultant, adviser, to DACAAR, a Danish organization repatriating Afghan refugees into Afghanistan. They’ve been operating for some 20 years and have about 1200 employees, of which over 95% are Afghans.
It is their philosophy to only enlist non-Afghans when the expertise needed is not available locally. And that’s where I come in.
As an IT-guru (got something against that?), I will be advising them on the future of their IT setup and IT-related decision making.
DACAAR currently operates in most of the 34 Afghan provinces, which probably means I will have to travel quite a bit, to investigate the setup of the offices in the field.
If all goes well, after the initial two months, after which I’ll be giving a recommendation on DACAAR’s immediate IT-needs and decisions. Then, if all goes well, there’s a chance I’ll return some months later to help with the implementation of the strategy I’ll propose.

Related:  Vienna for a day

As with my last major project in Zimbabwe, I got this project through ICCO, a Dutch development organization.

This time, Betsy is not joining me. The reason should be obvious. Although security risks are projected to be low, it will not be a pick nick. But then again, there IS a Kabul hash, so I guess it WILL be a pick nick. Or something close to it.