Selected excerpts from Afghanistan- Hearts & Minds
Bridges Academy students and Dina
From left to right: Zerwali, Lalai, me, and Agha Wali.
Kabul art museum
Babur garden
Agha Wali at the zoo
At the aquarium
At the skate parkSkateboarding
Rock band
Afghanistan- Hearts & Minds, page 10
In August 2011, Abuzar picked me up at the Kabul airport and our dusty little van headed to the outskirts of the camp. Just like every other day, Zerwali, Lalai, and Agha Wali were waiting in their snappy, new uniforms (definitely a good idea) with personalized book bags, hopped in the van, and sped off. But this time, instead of going to the empty classroom to learn, we set off on a two-week, mind-stretching adventure of epic proportion. A field trip on steroids.

From learning about Afghanistan’s rich history at the art museum and Babur Gardens to the natural world at the zoo, aquarium, and swimming in Lake Qargha, we stretched their little mental rubber bands further. And by discovering 21st century activities such as skateboarding, rock-wall climbing, taking a martial arts class, watching a rock band rehearse, and hitting a cybercafé (to experience the magic of Google Earth, Facebook, and Amazon), they stretched even further. But the icing on the cake was when they exchanged daily YouTube videos with a group of American GSD teens who had been following their story. Every day, back and forth, they shared stories of their lives, cultures, interests, likes, and dislikes. They talked, listened, laughed, and became friends.

(Video recap of adventure)
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