Sorry for the delayed update. Internet access has not been as consistent lately.
Following Friday's afternoon music event we went for more music and dinner at the India House - residence of the Indian Ambassador. We were stopped at 3 levels of security in what is sometimes referred to as the green zone. This exists in the center of the city and is where all of the embassies are located.
We showed our invitations - (which they unfortunately took, I was hoping for a souvenir). We pulled up to a large and beautiful house with a large lawn. A number of dignitaries were on the lawn having drinks and greeting each other. Shana and Noah were keeping me up to speed on the ambassador gossip - and we were soon greeted by the ambassador's wife and daughters.
The 2 daughters had been to the bird market that day. A variety of birds are sold there.
Quail, which are used for fighting that people bet on. Pigeons, which are very revered and are used for a game between neighbors - the lead pigeon, a female, flies with her flock guided by sticks held by the owner. The sticks guide the lead bird around and the flock tries to attract the neighbors pigeons.
I don't get it either but apparently its big bucks. A lead pigeon goes for $500 dollars in the bird market (about 2 months average Afghan salary).
We soon went inside India House for a night of music. We all sat on large red cushions that were lined up in rows on the floor. The ambassador talked about how thankful he was that his family could be there to visit him (most ambassadors are not allowed to bring their wives or children with them - hence all the dignitary gossip).
After the classic Indian music we sat for dinner and talked to one of the Indian diplomats who spoke about the number of projects India is funding in Afghanistan (apparently 1.2 billion dollars worth - including the road on which the electricity is run from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan). India has a heavy involvement in the rebuilding of Afghanistan - some question if this is for altruistic reasons or because of their difficult history with Pakistan - therefore hoping to utilize Afghanistan as a way to divert trade, etc from Pakistan.
The rebuilding of a nation is a difficult process - and a newly global economy that has a memory of grievances that are many year's old - the process becomes even more complex and difficult.
I do not have any photographs of the India House as I did not bring my camera with me for fear of its being taken. But I do have a photo of the singer from that evening from earlier in the day.