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We work 6 days/wk, which doesn’t really leave much time for other things. Combine that with security concerns and the limited number of places we are allowed to go and it would seem that there wouldn’t be much to write in this post.

Surprisingly, I’ve done quite a lot in the past month. Here are a few specific and general down time activities:

  • Marathon Second Annual Kabul Marathon – The marathon was entirely inside the US embassy compound. And the only way to accomplish the distance was a lot of loops!

I love the tshirt we got (click on it for a closeup). A few things to note:

– Yes, it is 1389, according to the Persian calendar.

– The cafeteria reference (#3) is because the overwhelming majority of the runners were from the military.

– Afterward, a band played while we hung out on the grass in front of the embassy. Name of the band: “Danger Pay!”

– No, I didn’t run the full marathon. We did a relay, which is a quarter marathon.

  • Volleyball – One of the guesthouses has a courtyard with a net.
  • Volunteer to clean up Aschiana School – As part of my company’s worldwide volunteer day, we painted rooms and cleaned windows for Blast film application (this is similar to how windshields don’t shatter in a car accident). I think the locals got a kick out of watching us work.
  • Various parties – We will use any excuse to relax, including birthdays, bbqs, and the World Cup (one of the advantages of having people from all of the world is that you get to learn a bit about their culture…I’m specifically talking about South Africa here.)
  • Shopping – Some people make quite a hobby out of shopping. There are grocery stores, a couple bazaars, carpet sellers, jemstone and jewelry sellers, local artisans, and always online shopping.
  • Movies – Watching movies is, by far, the most common thing people do in their spare time (just above emailing and skyping with friends/family). Pirated movies are a dollar (at the grocery store), and you can easily get box sets for less than $10 at the bazaar.
  • Working out – Each guest house has a small gym, and the ubber-athletes go to one of the expat gyms or to the military base to work out.

Other outside activities that are available here: swimming, formal brunch (Friday, not Sunday), coffeeshop, restaurants, organized tours, salsa lessons, and a salon with massage, wraps, pedicures, etc.

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