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Read amazing experience of our volunteers, sponsors and employees who tell their stories of working in our orphanages

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Never a snag, never a missed appointment or fundraiser. Not until the afternoon we had to be somewhere, had to return the bus to the company by 5pm. We were way ahead of schedule, perhaps able to pull into the final destination by 3:30, when Interstate 80 at the Pennsylvania/New Jersey line was shut down in both directions due to a hazardous waste collision. Deadlock!

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As we approached Omaha a huge golden moon rose up over the plains. Bridget is a grandmother as well as a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Nebraska. Bridget met us at the door of her small home with two Yorkshire Terriers in tote. Lida and Mohsan were especially pleased to have one last chance to play with cute little dogs. Here we would only stay one night, because there were big plans in the making down the road. Bridget was amendable and very curious, asking loads of questions concerning the children and Islam. It was her worry that money meant to go to the orphanage had been spent on this trip. It should be restated here that this trip was fully funded by a grant from the Afghan Women’s Empowerment fund and from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Project.

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The Magic Freedom Bus rolled into my sister Lindsay’s ranch northwest of Sacramento just in time to feed the horses. Here we would rest for four days, visiting with my father who is living with my sister and her husband Jim. They have a heated lap pool that would occupy the children for hours. An old and dear college friend and his family surprised me by flying down from Seattle to see me at my sister’s before I once again disappear to Kabul.

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Gurbir Singh and her husband guided us through the tight gate to their castle-like home on the hill overlooking the El Camino Real corridor in South San Francisco. Here we would pause for three nights, including a fundraiser there at the house and a few forays into the city by the bay. This was yet another entirely new experience. Gurbir and her friends and family are associated with an aid organization Goodwill Without Borders, and they like to dance. In fact our presentation for the fundraiser was relatively beside the point, as the entire affair was scheduled to be a series of dance instruction courses outside on the tennis court. It was a wonderful stay for our Hindi film loving girls, especially when a vocalist who trains many of the Bollywood stars showed up and did some Hindi Karaoke with them.

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  • rtee says #
    Now, Ian is back in Afghanistan, once again volunteering with AFCECO at the Kabul orphanages. He will continue his journal and we

Santa Barbara was a stop arranged by another sponsor, Jennifer Shively. The pristine park and rows of neatly trimmed palms greeted us as we pulled the bus into this quintessential California Shangri-la. Jennifer and her good friend MaryJo met us with sandwiches and we spent the afternoon playing games in the park. The eight of us on the bus by this time began to feel the significance of this journey together, the closeness and the fact nothing like this has been done and most likely will ever be done again. As I instructed the six kids to make a people pyramid I felt our reconstructed family bonding in ways I could not have imagined. It is as if Nasrin has indeed become mom, helping them in ways I could never, the one they can confide in, the one they can communicate with best. I, the dad, am unpredictable and yet always there in a pinch. All seven of them have begun to worry about me a little, can he last, can he keep this thing going? I have made them to depend on me too much, a fault I must alleviate somehow.

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  • yudana says #
    Now, Ian is back in Afghanistan, once again volunteering with AFCECO at the Kabul orphanages. He will continue his journal and we