Cookie Tong

It's Honey Box


Yes, Joony! I saw Buzkashi!

Buzkashi was amazing but I didn't finish writing about it my book or diary or whatever it is, so I can't "put it up yet." So hopefully next week. But let it be known that it was both as awesome and disappoining as could be imagined. okay so just don't worry about it, geez.

Danes winds

Sometimes when I'm down, I realize that the problem is just that I need to hear some dirty bass accompanied with some super nasty beats and have someone remind me that, "It's party time" or something similar. But nobody hear ever reminds me of that. So I started having my own parties during class sometime.

Today I was accomplishing continuous goals.

Today I was reading this poem, sort of, actually it was a list of jobs, which if we were being honest wiht ourselves, really just ought to replace all poetry, and I were a poet I would really try to have a "lists of Jobs" stage that art historians or whoever could talk about later. Anyway it had some really good sections.


That time you had that awkward moment with that bird.

We heard rumors that tommorow there is a buzkashi match near the central bamyan bazaar. If you are totally out it then you don't realize that this is the awesome chance of a lifetime. Buzkashi is basically this kind of polo with a headless goat carcass. Its supposed to be really violent too. I think we are going to go and I can't wait! Thats all for this week because I had to make a report for WORK!


Sorry, No chickens bodies available

Aww man
i was gonna write all this sweet stuff, but we have to buy some cookies and gear for our class christmas party and a chickens legs for christmas dinner (no chickens body was available). Really I don't know if i can handle all this updating pressure.

"We ain't go no money! we ain't got no time!"
I've been making up a lot of sweet dialogues and songs for our english class and then making the students sing and dance and say whatever words i want them to say. Of course i have to use real words due to my concisence and the other teachers, but whatevs. I might video tape some of this if i can get some battery power and if i stop feeling awkward and rich about waving a video camera in village kids faces.

All these sweet things are happening in my life that you totally don't know about, which is too bad, but my time here is almost finished (bout a monf, less actually) and then another in korea and then its back in your TLC arms and your TLC made for tv movies and your TLC Cds.

I was thinking about how I will fit in with everyone, and i am sure it will work out fine. the only problem is that the things and names that I say that Jake hates have all changed to things reconizable only by me. Instead of nate reed I say ghulam Ali or Khuda dad. Instead of "singing mice" I say singae? Pashtu for "how are you" Instead of say hey myon, I say chang hyun. Excpet I usually say these things in my head. But all things work together for good for them that love the lord, so I guess i'll be fine and jonny rice will be screwed.

Also I had this dream about owens and we were trying to find these awesome snacks and jake wanted this dried fruit and me and aaron senter and andy and erica wanted this huge car sized peice of french bread and we got in this huge fight and then i don't rmember what happened but now i want to eat a sandwhich real bad and they don't have those here.

Matt why don't you change your wedding date a week earlier. I'm going to ask till you give me an answer.


Long long Ago...MEN of making bike have a DREAN

This is the real date: 11.19.05

When i lived in granshakh some people had this bike called, "Star Plan Shuttle" and the above was its slogan written on the bike, capitals and mispellings included. I love that bike like i love this junk mail i just got from "forrest Tom."

Also there is a brand of crackers in Pakistan called, "Peek Freens"!!!!

Today while I was playing this weird and confusing version of bachee ball (Chor Maghz or four brains) with walnuts this UN truck drove by and I am pretty sure it was being driven by ben newton.

Also I learned that Tupchi means "place of shooting guns" good news

Time! its dimes time!


First Day in Tupchi!

What kind of Ghosts live in mountains?
This is beginning the series of catching up on old things which were not posted. I am not starting at the beginning I am starting with my current life here in Bamyan, Afghanistan. I will also be throwing in a bit of business from the Kashmir Earthquake. The Cast has changed, Joony went back to Korea, Young Mi and Chang Hyun Came from Korea. Hee Eun is still in Kabul, Chul went to Pakistan. The Dates will all be wrong in order to have them appear at the top of the blog and later I will change them. or will I? And Matt don't worry I'm coming to you wedding, I'm just angry its August 5th and not the week or two before.

I miss Hee Eun. and Joony. and Andy Senter. There's a big jump in continuity here from well before Peace Camp (August) - Vacation in Pakistan for a 15 days - Earthquake in Pakistan for longer - Moving to Tupchi, Bamyan. That's okay though its mostly lies anyway.

Today was the first day, I guess in Tupchi (the village in which we now find myself, "doing my thing"). The first real day anyway. Everybody, Hee Eun (dang), Chul, and Amanullah left to go back to Kabul or elsewhere. Our first night alone here. After they left (shoot), We played Soccer with a bunch of boys from the refugee camp (naowbat) near the school, trying not to kick the ball of the mountain or into a minefield (not true, this side of the river has been demined, but its sounded good huh? See all lies). It was great. I didn't realize how much Granshakh had scarred me (you didn't either, when the blog left off I was just introducing it to your ways, I will fill in the blanks later, for now if you want to know about it go see the movie dogville) But so far no one has hit me, pushed me down a hill, stolen from me, called me an infidel or told me I was going to hell. I guess I was expecting it, but here they all seem to be kind and like me. And they are all impressed by my Farsi speaking abilities (bad move, I always come on strong and then later they try to talk to me fast of difficult and we all lose).

I am of course running out of internet time. Its spent most of my time reading about the CPT kidnapping and Corpus Christi the play

So I will leave you for this week with some items.

1. Today we me with the teachers and they cared about the students and about education. One of them called me Ustaz (teacher). In Granshakh the teachers called me Bacha (boy).

2. The view from our house is continuosly destroying the view from all houses and making those houses feel clumsy and foolish.

3. The Snow capped mountains are slowing coming here for a visit. In a month they will arrive.

4. The Last three nights in a row, I've dreamt of earthquakes. The Last one everyone died except Joony. Hee Eun was crushed beneath the ceiling while lying in bed. I didn't tell her that.

5. This internet cafe (the only seven computers in the whole province with internet access) is slow but surprisinly faster than kabul. Its cold as darren's boulders though and my hands freeze like frozen gold.

6. The guy at the gas station where we get deisel for our oil lamp signs the reciept, "love" in english.

Dang times up. I still have so much to write. I hate the internet. and time.


CPTers kidnapped

Next week I will begin posting on my life here in bamyan either starting from pakistan earthquake or the present. However this week I would like to ask you to pray for some fellow CPTers who have been kidnapped in Iraq. Two of them were present at my training, one being a trainer (on the right) and the other assisting (bald on the left). I won't take the time to post indepth here as others have already done so. For more information please visit my friend Justin's Blog.
or of course, the website has much information about it. Please pray for them.


see ya

22,000 dollars have been raised! Tommorow I am going to a village in Bamyan for two months. See you there.


Pakistan Earthquake Emergency Appeal

Friends and Supporters,

I am writing this letter from Pakistan which is currently in the midst of an enormous crisis. As most of you know, on Oct. 8, Northern Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) administrated region were struck by a 7.6 earthquake. Maybe you have heard the numbers. Over 55,000 dead and counting, over 70,000 seriously injured and counting. 3 million people homeless, 800,000 without any shelter whatsoever. 10,000-12,000 schools destroyed. In some districts such as Muzzafarabad (the capital of AJK) and Balakot over 90 percent of everything has been destroyed. Whole villages have been wiped from the map. The destruction and loss of life has been tremendous and terrible. But the emergency is far from over.
The current situation is on the verge of another disaster of even greater scale. The areas affected are largely small villages and towns spread out across a huge and mountainous area. Most of the roads connecting these villages to support have been destroyed by the earthquake and continue to be re-blocked by rockslides and aftershocks. Estimates are that about 30% of the affected area has not even been reached yet. That’s an estimated 200,000 people nobody knows anything about.
What is known is that in 3-5 weeks heavy winter snows will completely seal off the majority of the affected area. 55,000 people died in the earthquake, but many times more will die if they do not receive food or shelter before winter begins. While there are many needs, the largest gap and biggest emergency is in shelter. Currently an estimated 210,000 (at minimum) winterized tents and shelters are needed and are needed fast. These would cover about 2 Million people. 2 Million people that will all die if they do not receive adequate shelter in the next several weeks. Let me repeat that: 2 Million people that will all die if they do not receive adequate shelter in the next several weeks.
The situation is desperate. No one was ready for this, no one knew the scale. And the international community failed to respond with compassion. In the wake of other disasters around the world somehow we forgot to care. Donations were made, many too late and too small. Maybe the people affected are remote, from places we have never heard of, maybe they are a different race and speak a different language. But their children still cry because they don’t know where their mother is, Parents still cry over children crushed to death beneath concrete slabs. And they will all freeze to death by December.
There is still time to save thousands of lives. Donations are needed to purchase tents and shelter for these people. We (The Frontiers) are collecting donations in hopes that we can support at least two villages completely with adequate shelter to last till they can rebuild in the spring. I will not soften my words. If people do not donate, thousands of people will die. The people are here, the organizations are here. The money is not, the tents are not. If we can get enough money for 600-700 tents, 600-700 families (or what remains of their families) will not die, will have a chance to restart their lives next spring.
Time is limited. This is an emergency. Please help the people of northern Pakistan.

Thank you
Paul-Philip (Paco) Michelson
Pakistan Earthquake Shelter Coordinator
The Frontiers

Questions? Email me: or

or Call:

+92-301-533-7749 (Pakistan Cell)+93-79-047-351 (Afghanistan Cell)


In animal hands

Afghanistan Animal Count! Fox: 1 (beguiling and charming prince of moderate scale, perhaps it would not be presumptuous to claim him rascally, even)Turtles: 1 (dead) (but that means they have them here!)Crabs: 1 (because crabs are shellfish, they aren’t hallal (Islamic kosher) so the village people hate them and don’t touch them)Hedgehog: 1 (dead)(Really! I was surprised too. But there it was, dead on the river bank)Birds: uncountable (at least 6 or 7 varieties including this stork like bird) (whoah right now I just had déjà vu of some other animal list)Cats: 42 (only in Kabul) (the Villagers say that they are here but I haven’t seen them)Frogs: 50-60Cows: 4 BillionCamels: Maybe 6 or 7. (Most people don’t have them in the north, except the nomads or as they are called here “cuchi”)Goats and Sheeps: 2 BillionDonkeys: about 30 (donkey’s faces are so awesome!)Turkeys: AWW YEAH! Maybe 15 or so, including baby turkeys, including this one really confused turkey that came into our room this one time.Chickens: a couple millCat-Dogs: 3 or 4 really weird dogs that act like cats and climb these huge walls and one doesn’t have any ears.
Boring Lizards: 1, it was so boring
flamboyant and kind lizards: 1 so bright and beautiful!


Taking it to the streets

Yeah! today was a day off and nice one at that. hey man nice one! I got up at 7:30 am and Joony and I and Alim and his really cute 4 year old son (this guy we met who stepped on a land mine a couple years ago and runs this mine vicitms group)(so scary with the four year old and four people on one motorcycle) all rode together on his motorcycle to go to the bagram hospital. But we were too heavy for his motorcycle so about half way there we met up with this wedding caravan and rode on the roof of their van filled with colorfully dressed girls and load iranian music with a seemingly excessive amount of drums. Then we got off in some town because they asked us to pay and we did not want to do that. Then it turned out we sort of broke alims motorcycle with our weight, so we had to stop at a mechanic (which in farsi is prounounced Mr. E or kind of like mystery said slowly, i'm serious its awesome! and some times people say they are Mr. E to me and I love them!) but luckily it only cost one dollar to fix (its afghanistan) and we had the best tea of our life while waiting. then we left his son with a friend. and drove to the hospital. He got hooked up with a date for some surgery and then we rode back. On the way back we stopped at his organization's small office and everyone took off thier prosthetic arms and legs and hands and showed us and told us how the leaders of thier province were crooks and steeped in nepotism and wouldn't help them at all or give them any kind of compensation for their injury. There are about 400 people in their union and they all have these tiny serious looking headshot photos in this big plastic bag. They want me to contact the American Army and get them some help. I don't know about that but I hope we can assist them in some way.

On the way back home we stopped at Alim's house and drank about 7 glasses of tea. We saw his village (Kharukhsi) which is part of Granshakh and near Rogamati (my village) but is more beautiful and more poor, in this valley by the river. Then we got on the motorcycle again but it got a flat tire and we had to walk a couple miles. When we got back home I helped our neighbors build this wall.

Alim is a really awesome dude although I wonder how much the metal in his face and eye from the landmine affects his brain. He literally never stops talking for the whole 2 hour motorcycle ride. And most of the time he was just asking me if I was good or okay. About every 15 seconds he would turn to me and say, "Khub as?" and he wasn't just saying it he always expected me to give an answer and would ask me until I did. And when he wasn't saying that he was saying, "Chetor Kunem?" which is kind of like saying, "but hey, what can you do?" as in, "I've got no money so I can't buy this thing i want...but hey, what can you do?" and he always called us the wrong names even during other people calling us the right names. He calls me Kecko or Kacki and Joony, Genom and Junum. He also kept asking us if we were friends. He's probably like 40 years old. It's good [Ed. later we found our that Junum means friend in iranian farsi, and that kacki means dirty and kecko means gay, but i don't think he meant that as an insult i think he really thought those were our names, and also I think the metal has effected his brains]


Bin laden jokes!

Everyone's favorite jokes here are to (a) point at someone and say he's Al-Quaida or Bin Laden or Mullah Omar (Taliban leader) or to (b) point at someone and say they are from some otther country than Afghanistan, such as Germany or Africa (which apparently they think is a country). I didn't think Al-Quadia and Bin laden jokes would be cool here but apparently they eat em up like hot hot heat.



I expected to play a lot of soccer here in the village but instead for some weird reason they all love volleyball. what a weird choice. dang


I am Zarif Nijat: itelligent,handsome ,powerful and friendly

That title came from the auto-fill thing. I love other humans and their ways! I love their ways!

Today I went hunting with the commander! (yes my life is really so awesome that I can say like that and it be the truth!)

At 4:30 am the commander's body and voice arrive in our room informing us that we are going bird hunting. Last night he said 5:30 but these numbers are not those numbers but different ones. But it doesn't matter and the commander walks so very fast! I can't believe his speed! (Joe and steven, how come we never talk about speed?! Do you realize about speed!?)

As we run/walk many guns are heard around the valley. 4:30 must be the hott time for shooting small animals bodies with metal and whatever else we have on hand. Soon we enter a grove of trees (Is this a grove? what does a grove really look like? do you think this is that word?) and we meet about 10 other villagers crouching behind trees and bushes with guns and in some cases muskets (really! those muskets! rev war baby!) looking like mujahadeen, the 70s and 80s guerilla fighters of Afghanistan. Boys and dads are bonding in the hunt for deliecious bird snacks. I wonder what kind of birds we will kill and kill well and hard? Soon guns are firing again and some birds go down bad. But these birds we shoot are so small like sparrows! And some guys behind me are firing really innappropriately loud guns for shooting such small tasty friends of earth. I go to watch some guy reload his musket. He is pieces of cloth! Soon my brains remember that it is 5 in the morning. I go to sleep. I wake up again to innapproapriate loudness. A few feet away some boy is getting yelled at like some boy is invarialby getting yelled at during all occasions like this. Maybe when he was cutting off the small birds' small heads he made some cutting mistake. I wonder when we can go back home and to sleep. I don't think the commander has killed any birds yet. I decide to pick some nice flowers. There are some really nice flowers here! I pick four colors. Finally around 7:30 and 3 hours of hunting we leave, the commander didn't get anything but on the way home he takes to birds down with cheap shots as they were sitting on the ground.