"I grew up in Tempe, Arizona, and when my dad offered my younger sister, Jan, and me the chance to go with him and our mother to Afghanistan, I was excited about the opportunity. I would spend my senior year in high school in some exotic country, not in ordinary Tempe… Of course, there were loads of cultural differences between Arizona and Afghanistan, but I had very interesting and entertaining experiences. People always seemed friendly and helpful. I never got into any real difficulties or scrapes, even though I was a fairly clueless teenager! Times were more gentle back then." - Peg Podlich
Jan and Peg Podlich at Paghman Gardens, which was destroyed during the years of war before the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
Young Afghans walking home.
Parking lot of the American International School of Kabul (AISK). The school no longer exists, although alumni stay in touch through Facebook and hold reunions every few years at different cities around the U.S. The next reunion will be held in Boston in 2013. “AISK’s last year was 1979, so the school had a 20 year history. AISK was located on the same campus that currently houses the American University of Afghanistan (on Darul-aman Rd in west Kabul). In 1967-68, there were about 250 students attending AISK and 18 graduating seniors.” - Peg Podlich
Men and boys washing and swimming in the Kabul River.
A group of Afghan men look out over Istalif, about 18 miles northwest of Kabul, which was a centuries-old center of pottery making and other tourist attractions. The village was nearly destroyed by major fighting between “Northern Alliance” forces and the Taliban in the late 1990s.
Dr. Bill Podlich on a hillside in Kabul. “My dad was a professor of Elementary Education, specializing in teaching Social Studies, at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona from 1949 until he retired in 1981. He had always said that since he had served in WWII… he wanted to serve in the cause of peace. In 1967, he was hired by UNESCO as an Expert on Principles of Education, for a two-year stint in Kabul, Afghanistan at the Higher Teachers College… Throughout his adult life, because he was interested in social studies, whenever he traveled around (in Arizona, to Mexico and other places), he continued to take pictures. In Afghanistan he took half-frame color slides (on Kodachrome), and I believe he used a small Olympus camera.” - Peg Podlich.