I am sitting in Bibi Ayisha School at dusk. The mighty Anjoman Pass in the distance blushes radiant orange/pink in the evening glow as the sun sets over the Hindu Kush. The mountain ranges on ever side reflect the light of the falling sun and a cold wind whips up the dust below.
We set out early from Faizabad along the extraordinary road which was built by the Turkish and the Koreans with funds from USAID. This road used to take forever and crossed what seemed like the top of the world through areas like those one sees from aeroplanes and imagines that no life can exist amongst the harsh contours of rock and dust. Now we race along its smooth tarmac which cuts the journey time from days to short hours.
Mud brick villages perch impossibly upon the steep slopes which tower over the Korcha River. We follow the river all the way to Worsaj, its waters becoming ever more translucent and a palette of emerald, turquoise and aquamarine. Full of fish too! The beauty of this area never ceases to impact, a hidden jewel ironically protected by conflict from the outside world.