I got a letter in the mail today that Yoni sent me as soon as he arrived in Afghanistan. With his permission, I’m including excerpts below. It’s slightly outdated (I’ve spoken to Yoni many times since he wrote this letter), but I think it will give you a sense of where he’s at.
“They say that there’s a reason that religions are often born in the desert. usually, it has something to do with simple beauty and/or serenity and/or the nomadic experience of God. For all that I heard of beauty out here – I can’t say I see any of it. Mostly, I see dust. It’s in my eyes, it’s in my nose and my mouth, and it covers every item of clothing that I own. Desert beauty = debunked.
As for serenity, I can maybe see that. But this part of Helmand Province is mostly flat nothingness. No trees. No mountains. Nothing. I feel it’s the Afghan equivalent to the Midwest…after global warming turns the Midwest into a desert. And it’s not quiet…
Camp Leatherneck is adjacent to a British base with a hospital. Things were quiet there until recently. But the hospital has picked up again. I’m going to be spending time with a British chaplain doing rounds; he is way overworked now. …The violence affects me only by sound – I can hear firing but we are in a flat desert where sound travels for miles.
The chapel, on the other hand, is kind of fun. There are three mini chapels with benches like at camp. I already told RP to set up the benches like Beit Am Bet. I met the layleader (read: frum doctor from Silver Spring, MD) and meet the rest of the active Jews tomorrow. Can’t wait…”
In other news, Talya and I had a great time in Tokyo this past week. Here are a few pictures from our adventures.
|Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa|
|Hama Rikyu Gardens|
|At the top of Mori Tower, in Roppongi. We had a bit of a photo shoot.|
|Hey baby, will you be my girl friend? Hmm...leave it.|
|Yes, people really wear these clothes.|
|A little lost at the Meiji Shrine|
|heading out for some birthday fun.|