Yesterday was our graduation from the Pashto language class. I enjoyed learning the language and the culture, even if it was intense. The language sounds like Russian and a little like Spanish and has some cool sounding words. We completed 56 hours of instruction in seven days, so I will have to work hard to keep my proficiency. Below is a picture of me receiving my "diploma" from my instructor, Zalmai. Zalmai is a great teacher and moved to America from Afghanistan in 2003. He shared many stories from his childhood in Afghanistan and they were fascinating.
After graduation our class escaped from base and went to a traditional Afghan restaurant in Bloomington called Samira's. The food was amazing! I am looking forward to good eating once we're in country. For dinner I had manto, which is a thin dumpling filled with shredded beef and onions, topped with a yogurt sauce. It was delicious!