This is my last night in Kabul, my second home, for the summer, and my heart is breaking a little bit at having to say goodbye. There is a nearly full moon large above the mountains and the city is settling in for the night. An ice cream cart comes by, playing its usual “Happy Birthday” song, and children are wrapping up their football (soccer) game across way. The wind gently shakes the leaves on the aspen trees. I am at peace.
Reconnecting with my students was wonderful, as always. The ANIM feels more and more like the performing arts high school that I attended, bubbling over with ideas and bands and plans and enthusiasm. My older students and some of the junior faculty are working on everything from western classical music to arrangements of Led Zeppelin and traditional Afghan folk songs. They are great mentors from the younger students, and I see the new fourth graders eagerly eyeing the instruments that they hope to start next year.
Highlights of the week for me:
– watching my two youngest violin students play the Twinkle Variations as a duo on one violin
– coaching and performing Esma Redzepova’s “Caje Sukarije” with some of my 7th and 10th graders in their band, “99%”
– visiting Darul Aman Palace and Baghe Babur with Fayez and Shahir
– hearing the orchestra rehearse Zanane Sarbuland
– working on orchestration with Milad
– eating mangos – lots and lots of mangos
…and so much more. What a place! My dear friends and students, and this beautiful city, Kabul: I will miss you!