Zero Option – NOT an Option for TIE

 The news from and about Afghanistan continues to be troubling. Jack Howell brought me the most recent “bad news” article written by Joel Brinkley, recently published in the San Francisco Chronicle, entitled “Greedy Karzai risks U.S. triggering the “zero option”.

Long time no report. My apologies. I’ve been in Montana vegging. No, not eating them, just fixating on the blue skies,  farmland, cattle, deer, rivers and lakes. If you’ve been to Glacier National Park, you’ll understand.

     An indication of how spectacular Montana can be is pictured below.  My brother, Kirk, took this photo of the dam controlling the water level of Flathead Lake. The lake is larger than Tahoe’s and the dam is higher than Niagara Falls.
Flathead Lake Dam
Visit Glacier National Park!  Do not pass go or collect $200. If you are lucky they will let water out of the Flathead Lake while you are there. Bring bear spray.

News from Kabul

      The  buckets of rice and items we packed in June arrived in Kabul. Eight of the 11 military pallets sent have been moved into our office in Kabul (pictured below).
      The security involved in getting trucks through the guards and gates at  Kabul’s airport is impressive. It can take several hours. On one occasion Basir waited for hours, only to be turned away and told to come another day. Getting a pickup time takes days. It all went smoothly this shipment. Basir is three for three, with one more to go.

They love the red buckets.
      We share his pain. We packed
      and stacked that box.
     The recent shipment contains enough computer monitors to support several more computer labs and will provide 150,000 meals to 1,000 families.  It also has three hundred more indestructible soccer balls donated by One World Futbol.The ladder ball games also made it! They will be distributed when Nabi and I  are in Kabul in September. These are perfect, something they have never played before, built and donated by American children.
     The above are in addition to tons of warm clothing, blankets, jackets, stuffed toy animals, and other valuable items collected and delivered to our packing party or my porch.
     I have removed the closed for the summer signs from my porch, by the way. Remember, however, porch privileges are restricted to people who receive this newsletter. I lack the endurance and strength required to take on the totality of stuff people in the bay area no longer need. Moreover, Jack Howell, my main muscle compadre, fell and hurt himself after our last packing party. He’s on the injured reserve list for the foreseeable future.

While on the Subject of Drop Offs

      Ann Rubin, founder of Afghans for Afghans had so many boxes to drop off she earned a “meet at the warehouse” this past Sunday. Ann has organized a cadre of knitters living throughout the United States. They have been knitting and donating sweaters, mittens, socks, gloves scarves, and shawls for years. TIE is fortunately this year’s beneficiary of their work.The sweaters are beautiful.
     Our goal is to ensure the 400 girls attending the school TIE funded in Farza, each receive a sweater. Ann believes the total number of sweaters may reach 700. Contact Ann at Afghans for Afghans or us, if you want to add to the collection.

What about Jack’s solar cookits?

No smoke, no firewood, no more contaminated water!
      We have over 1600 solar cookits in our office, 1300 of which are ready to go. Once these are distributed there will be 2,000  cookits “out there”, mostly with families living in refugee camps. Jack is hosting a WAPI construction party at his home this weekend with father and son teams assembled by Annette Robison.  Annette is in charge of the LaMorinda League of BoysTeam Charity.
      If you belong to a group that would like to make Wapis let us know. We’re going to need thousands. The solar cookit/wapi project initiated by Jack is an unqualified success.

Is there More?

       Yes, there is. But, I have already exceeded the average attention span of readers and I’m out of time. IN n OUT beckons (extraordinary hamburgers and fries for the non-Californians).  There is much more to report, because there are so many who have stepped up in ways never imagined. More reports will follow.

     The grass roots people to people humanitarian aid model works better than any I’ve encountered. I know I’m repeating myself. I’m likely to do it again. I’m reaching the stage in life when redundancy is forgiven or at least tolerated. We baby-boomers have limited random access memories. There comes a time when every day is literally a new day. When that day arrives someone else will be driving the TIE bus.
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