A young man named Hamidullah, a good friend of Ramesh, my translator, has invited me to go hiking in Sholgara. Combat has ebbed but never ended, and small, locally based detachments of the two militias still clash here from time to time. “Where I am taking you, it is secure.”Mazar-e-Sharif to SholgaraAfghanistan’s blood-drenched history, ancient and recent, rolls past the car windows. SholgaraWe pull up to a pedestrian rope bridge sagging over the murky Balkh River, leave the car, and cross the bridge on foot. The mountains are white, then blue, then gray, then green as they swell toward us.”I love you, Afghanistan!” Hamidullah exclaims.