I've been writing about Afghanistan for over a year. A place that I used to just read about, now has a special place in my heart. A day doesn't go by that I don't think about the US military and other military factions from around the world fighting there.
The first time I went through Abbey Gate in Kabul, I was on foot, lugging my 85 pound duffle bag. I remember distinctly the cold biting my exposed face and hands as I tried to negotiate with the Dutch guards speaking English with their thick accents. I was better at understanding their body language and gesturing with their loaded guns...get back and wait out past the first check point.
It was as if it was yesterday, even though it was 0600 January 1, 2011 and I had been traveling since December 30th with nary a layover and not a wink of sleep.
This was another check point in my adventure as I stared up at the crescent moon and star pinned in the sapphire blue sky as a reminder of the Russian occupation 35 years ago.
What was it going to be like inside? Abbey Gate was a vortex, a gateway into a combat zone. It's boundaries definitive, unlike the blood spilled within.