Traveling Rumi

Meet our first traveling “goodee” doll, Rumi. Rumi is a pint-sized replica of one of the members of our PARSA farm, Rumi the elegant fat-tailed Afghan sheep. Reese rescued Rumi from becoming a dinner kebab during Eid last year, and brought him to PARSA where he lives the sheep-dream: plenty of food, plenty of friends, and plenty of roaming space.

We are making little stuffed replicas of our PARSA Farm animals to help promote both our PARSA Farm and our tailoring program, both part of our PARSA Women’s Economic programs. Our women will be making unique stuffed replicas of each of our farm animals, and decorating them with individualized Afghan style. Then as our staff members travel around Afghanistan and abroad we will be taking our little stuffed pets with us and sharing our journey’s from their point of view!

Reese’s little Rumi is the first to go – from Kabul where he said goodbye to Reese’s mastiff Sherock, all the way to Washington State, where he is currently on all sorts of adventures in the warm spring Seattle weather. We plan to auction off little Rumi once he is back in Kabul to raise money for the women who made him, so stayed tuned for more of his adventures!



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Chinese New Years with Shamsa

Today we hosted our much-anticipated Chinese New Years event welcoming in the Year of the Goat with the kids from Shamsa Village Orphanage. To put it mildly, it was amazing! We still don’t know who had more fun, the kids themselves or the volunteers and PARSA staff who were helping to run things.

IMG_5911Chinese New Years is a very exciting and fun holiday, and we thought it would be a great first glimpse into Chinese culture for the kids (and for some of us!). We had five themed activities: Chinese lantern crafts, pin the tail on the goat, donuts on a string (because the kids love it), a dragon/goat coloring and fan making activity, and a learn-to-use chopsticks table. They were all great and the kids could not have been more happy with their beautiful lanterns and faces covered in donut sugar.

IMG_6383We played games such as “Toufan Says” as wrestling practice, then after the lunch the adults did our best attempt at entertaining the kids with a Chinese parade dragon dance, after which the kids had a blast running around with the giant home made dragon head. We finished the day by handing out “lai see” traditional envelopes and teaching the kids to say “Kung Hei Fat Choy!!”

IMG_5969This amazing event was made possible by the great response from our local donor community to our ask last week, and we were happy to see many members of our Kabul community, both national and international, out to help run activities, play with the kids, and eat a great PARSA brunch.

A huge thanks to everyone who participated. Enjoy the picture gallery below!!



DAILY QUIRK: Goats on the Roof

Goats are mischievous creatures. Everyone knows this. But it isn’t until you get your first pair of adorable baby goats and try to keep them as family pets that you realize just how mischievous they can be. Take our recent series of “goats on the roof” experiences. The first time it happened was on an evening that I was working a little late at the office, and got one of the now-regular worried text messages from Marnie telling me that the goats were cold and hungry in their grazing pen and calling for their “goat-mother”. So I packed up and walked up to the house about 5 minutes later, only to find Marnie looking half frantic, half perplexed. I followed her worried gaze up to the top of the high roof of our Scouting building, where I saw little Fred and Wilma happily grazing away from the leaves off of the top of a tall tree.

Marnie said that she had let them out of their pen and only taken her eyes off them for two minutes, when they had dashed away and figured out how to scramble to the top of an old staircase, jump onto the building’s roof and then scamper over to the delicious tree leaves. The whole thing seemed fairly well planned out from the goats’ side.

We were both rather panicked as they were standing on the very edge of the building and it is a long way down. So I dropped my bags and ran up the stairs and onto the roof, and with a lot less grace than the goats made it over to them and picked Fred up to carry him down (Wilma always follows Fred wherever he goes). Getting them off the roof was another rather challenging maneuver, but we all managed to get back on solid ground without any injuries.

Marnie and I were very relieved to have rescued our “kids” from the rooftop, and put them away for the night. However, now that they have a taste for those delicious rooftop tree leaves, it is Fred and Wilma’s daily goal to get back on the roof the second they are out of our sight, and this has become a “daily quirk” for Norm, Wasse and I, who are the ones who have to keep climbing up on the roof to carry our goats back down.

We love our kids though, so it is worth it!

Happy Chinese New Years from everyone at PARSA – we are all very happy to be ringing in the Year of the Goat!

How we See Ourselves in Afghanistan

Click on the link below to read our very own VoAY Producer Mina Sharif’s article that was published in the Huffington Post. It shares her positive and uplifting view on her outlook living and working with PARSA and the Scouts in Kabul:

How we See Ourselves in Afghanistan

Mina’s positive outlook on Afghanistan reflects that of all of us at PARSA and we are proud of her for sharing it with the world!

DAILY QUIRKS: Snowball Fights, Afghan Style

IMG_5295This past weekend Reese, Yasin and I made a snowboarding attempt on Salang Pass, but unfortunately when we got to the top after our 3 hour drive we found that visibility was terrible and although there was a lot more snow there than in Kabul, it was not enough for boarding. So we made the best of it, and to the amusement of the roadside shopkeepers and the steady stream of cars driving by, Reese and I had a full-out snowball fight on the side of the road near the top of the pass. The pictures clearly show that I won.



Okay, maybe I didn’t win. Retreat!



Yasin and Reese hanging out.

Unfortunately the window was OPEN when that mud splatter happened.









Reese doesn’t go anywhere without his coffee cup.


Embassy of Indonesia Visits the Scouts


Mr. Budi Prastowo, Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, met today with the executive leaders of the Afghan Scouts at our PARSA main offices in Marastoon, Kabul. In this meeting we discussed the Afghan Scouts both in Afghanistan, Indonesia and globally, and we planned ways for the Indonesian Scouts and the Afghan Scouts to work together in the future. A great day for global Scouting!

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