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The Setting, Afghanistan
I stumbled upon this book through my membership in Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG), an international society of key women educators. Each chapter of this book concludes with an “unveiled truth” and a prompting question for the reader to consider in order to reflect on their own lives. It was a great book and very timely. Many people have been praying for Afghanistan as U.S. troops withdraw, and mourning the loss of the young girls murdered by a bomb intentionally set outside their school in Kabul in early May. The death toll from that attack was 85 with 147 wounded. It, of course, left families devastated but many also became more determined than ever to continue seeking the right to education for girls.
The Author, Gail Goolsby
Gail Goolsby, the author of Unveiled Truth, moved from the U.S. to Afghanistan to lead the International School of Kabul (ISK) for years. She shares her experience in a leadership capacity, working alongside her husband and teachers and other staff who had a true passion for teaching and learning. She shares the ups and downs that came not only from a new, very different culture but also from differences between her and her supervisor. Other educators will be able to relate to the issues she describes and appreciate this reflection.
Goolsby also shares some examples that pull on the reader’s heartstrings. These examples may even require a step away from the reading momentarily. One such example is when a staff member’s wife brings a tiny baby girl to the campus. The baby, weighing a couple of pounds, is taken temporarily from the hospital because the nurses will not care for it. It is too time-consuming (70). The staff cares for the baby and celebrates as she grows to five pounds before they leave for summer break. The family gets the baby and the baby dies shortly after. The family could not afford to buy formula. The husband’s other wife would not nurse the baby even though she was nursing a baby of her own. Tiny Marafat died of dysentery, likely a result of unboiled water in the tea she was given to drink and the resulting diarrhea it caused (72).
Some of the words of wisdom Goolsby shares from her experience include:
“When there is nothing you can do to make a situation better, finish your duties as well as you can, exit with dignity, and let it go. Life is too short to waste on the impossible…” (210).
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