BLOG: An Afghan education
Tim Goddard of the University of Prince Edward Island is in Afghanistan this month on a teacher training mission.
Goddard has a special connection to the country. His daughter, Capt. Nichola Goddard, was killed in action there in May 2006. She was the first female member of the Canadian military ever to die in combat.
Tim Goddard's work in Kabul, funded by CIDA, is to develop a teacher education, certification and accreditation structure in Afghanistan. The project is being delivered by World University Service of Canada in partnership with UPEI, and is being implemented with the teacher education division of the Afghan Ministry of Education.
The Goddards have established three funds in memory of their daughter: scholarships at UPEI and the University of Calgary, and Light Up Papua New Guinea, which raises money to install solar-powered LED lighting in health facilities in rural parts of that country.
While in London, Goddard watches the news about a deadly suicide bomb blast in Kabul. He recognizes the sites shown on the newscast and contemplates the dangerous, but important, work being done by civilians and soldiers in making Afghanistan — and the world — a better place.
On the long journey home, Goddard considers his experience in Afghanistan and concludes that nearly everyone he spoke with during his visit agrees the future of the country depends on education.
On his last day in Afghanistan, Goddard learns about an unofficial Canadian memorial in Kabul. He spends the evening at a feast hosted by an Afghan colleague.
A changing military mission
Goddard visits with members of the Canadian Forces who knew his daughter, and learns about their changing mission.
A day in the life
Although Goddard finds the actual surroundings more exotic, life as an international consultant is much the same as anywhere else in the world.
Runways, red lights and pizza
After two weeks in Afghanistan, Goddard has learned a number of small lessons, including a little something about Afghani humour. This post includes a photogallery.
High security living
Even in the most challenging of conditions, people in Afghanistan seem to be able to find ways to lead normal lives.
No crossing the line
A Canadian and an Afghan, born a world apart, visit the same airport every week, but it is unlikely they will ever meet.
The Silk Road
Tim Goddard finds there is still a mixing of culture along Afghanistan's section of the ancient Silk Road trade route.
While there are thousands of students training as teachers in Kabul, it may not be enough.
Goddard leaves his guest house for dinner at a Kabul restaurant, and finds it to be a high security affair.
Welcome to Kabul
In his first blog entry, Goddard celebrates Thanksgiving in Kabul, and talks to the education minister about balancing education and student safety.