We arrived in Dubai and followed orders from our Kabul girls to pick them up some of the essentials at the duty free shop. :)
24 hours into the trip, 2 movies watched, lots of music, lots of pacing the aisles, making friends with the flight attendants... Finally made it to our hotel room in Dubai for a 4 hour nap, then catching a local flight to Kabul. I was beyond excited when I opened my door to find a MASSAGE chair! Highlight of the day.
As we lined up to board the plane, we quickly realized we were 2 of maybe 7 women in the entire area (full flight of hundreds!). Half were locals, half were Western security contractors...
The 3 hour flight to Kabul wasn't too bad. I'm enjoying my tea on our final descent into Afghanistan, with the beautiful sunrise out my window.
Welcome to Afghanistan
Everyone gets a porter to carry the bags through security on the way out of the airport. You have to screen everything again, even after baggage claim. He wheeled all our bags to a far, far, far away parking lot because cars are not allowed to drive in to the airport for any reason. So, if you're being picked up, be ready to walk! It had just rained, so it was more of a mud run than anything else... All in my nice new white sandals. Yippee.
Our friends at the AUAF picked us up, we braved traffic, pedestrians, animals, dust, construction, and diesel fumes... and finally made it to the hotel. We aren't allowed to take photos of the lobby, front, etc. The big beefy security guards will yell at you. I saw it happen. Not to me though... I'm covert. :) Or I guess, only get photos of the ceiling...
When I checked into my room, I opened the elevator door and this man with a HUGE cart of flowers was waiting to get inside. I remarked how gorgeous the flowers were, and he immediately just handed me this bouquet and welcomed me to Afghanistan. Amazing. They smell so lovely. :)