November 08, 2009

Pakistan Dispatch: Hearts and Minds

Posting will be sparse over the next few days as Londonstani is playing host to the potential future Mrs. Londonstani (who is presently just known as Ms. Henley-on-Thames).

So, while Londonstani tries to figure out a security-conscious tourist itinerary, say hello to Mr Todd Shea, a remarkable American who Londonstani had the pleasure of meeting a few days ago. Todd is a one-man reconstruction team in his efforts to build and operate a hospital in a remote and largely forgotten area of Pakistan. He has also done more to challenge the abysmal image of America amongst Pakistanis than countless costly outreach programmes. And he's done it with pretty much just energy, enthusiasm and  force of personality.

If that wasn't difficult enough, he's also trying against the odds to open up country and western music to a new (and as yet unappreciative) audience.

Seriously, watching him sing "Dil Dil Pakistan", a famous patriotic song, to a collection of bemused and delighted villagers is the funniest and most heart warming thing Londonstani has seen for ages.