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Afghanistan: Grateful to Survive

IMG_20121224_135846[1]I can remember the day like it was just yesterday. It was one of those plain, boring days in Afghanistan in 2009. At that time, I didn’t know we were hanging on to our lives just by living there as foreigners but as I look back upon our family I now realize we were one of the lucky ones. Foreigners couldn’t get out of the house because of all the enmity and dangers outside but that didn’t mean we had things to do inside the house. My brother and I made up the weirdest ways to entertain ourselves, because where I lived in Afghanistan, there wasn’t any internet which meant no Facebook.

Our dinner was the usual, nun with kebab. My dad finished eating rather quickly and I followed him upstairs with the kebab still in my mouth. As I was chewing, I was examining what my dad was doing. At that time I was too young to understand what my dad did all the time in front of the computer. Soon the whole family was in one room.

In Afghanistan, the electricity was never on 24/7, it only came on at midnight past my bedtime, so I always woke up at the sound of my mom cleaning the house with the vacuum. The electricity was off as always so we had our generator running, it had just enough power to light up the house and my dad’s computer. We were used to the loud engines roaring through the quiet night and so we were just minding our own business until ‘BOOM’! I could sense the ground moving uncontrollably and I saw the bookshelves sway side to side.

Our ears were blocked by the sound of the noise penetrating the engines of the generator. Two consecutive explosions occurred and we could see dust from our abrasive ceilings fall down. It was our natural instinct to get low and search for a safe place and so we did. It took a long 30 minutes to assure us that there were no more explosions. I found out that my ears were blocked when I could gradually hear the sound of my little brother crying. My imperturbable dad and I went out the house to see what had happened. The smell of gunpowder surrounded the house, we observed our surroundings but all we saw was dust in the air shown by the light from the moonlight. The air was ominously quiet. Nothing happened after the explosion so we just let our racing thoughts pass by for the night and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up with the sound of my parents talking. They were talking with some Afghani people. I was too young to realize what had happened but I knew the situation was serious. The commotion in front of our gate gave me a feeling that something big had happened that night. The people told us that a bomb was planted outside our house shaped as toys. The part that sent a chill down my spine was when I heard the bomb was meant directly for the children and the only children in our street were my siblings and me. But even though there was a bomb attack right next to our house, our family was sanguine. We were just happy to be alive. After the incident, we were a little bit more alert and careful going outside. I am thankful that I survived my days in Afghanistan.

About the Author: Hello, My name is YeRam Yun, I am a student studying at Grace International School in Chiang Mai Thailand. I’m a proud citizen of South Korea and my interests are singing, writing, playing instruments and socializing.

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