My Afghan Mother

I went on a patrol the other day to a village elder’s house. A bit of background: when I first arrived here in Afghanistan, this particular village elder’s wife could not believe that there was a female commander and she made a request to meet me. I took the time to go meet her at her house, which involved meeting her daughters. It was a neat experience and one that differs significantly from the norm here since males are not allowed to look at women here unless they are family. We do not speak the same language, and my language assistant is male so in order to translate he has to sit around the corner where he cannot see the women and listen to the conversation while attempting to translate as fast as possible. All of the women try to speak at the same time in excitement, so you can imagine the fun that this presents. The village elder’s wife does not remember her name – a foreign concept to me being from North America where names are so important – and the name she is known as is mourri, which means mother. When I was leaving her compound, she held my hand until we reached my close protection who had been waiting by the door, and she helped me put my pac back on prior to walking out. Much like a mother would do. She gave me a blessing before I left that was so special – wishing me the best and wishing me peace wherever I go. Once in a while there are things that happen that truly transcend cultural, religious, or language differences. For a homesick gal, it felt kinda nice to have someone treat me like a mother would. I think those are some of the moments that make it worth it.

8 Comments

  1. Sandra MacDonald says:

    How awesome. This will be one of those memories that will live on forever.

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  2. Mum says:

    I am so happy to know that someone there respects and cares for you in ways that I would if you were here with me. What an amazing memory to make you smile for years to come. I wish I could meet her and say “Thank you”.

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  3. Wayne Briggs says:

    Hi Ashley
    Not many days go by without my lifting your name to the Lord in prayer as well as those with you. Philippians 3:10 is my prayer for you today. That you may know the Lord and His presence close enough that you sense Him everyday there in that country and that He will give you many days of relating to those people and your troops. LOL!!

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  4. Nanny Kay says:

    This sounded so special to me. Perhaps that lovely lady is a grandmother also. I am sure this memory will stay with you, just as the memory of family stays with you over there.

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  5. Farrah says:

    Beauiful moment in many ways.

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  6. Farrah says:

    Beautiful * (for an English teacher, I don’t spell very well…)

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  7. bruce says:

    Farrah I love you. You just made my day!!!
    Ref: WE Will Remember Them

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  8. Mum says:

    Bruce, I think when people get old they “repat” themselves too. Every spot that aches, you repat it over and over trying to get the linament rubbed in! Ha!
    Ash, have a great day and we love you. Wind is blowing a gale, spatting rain, giving snow later, then rain again. grrrrr…….Not to worry though, just that much closer to the homecoming! Forgive if I feel you should be queen. :o)

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