After an 11 month stay in Afghanistan, Portage engineer Rick Kitson is home for Christmas.

He got back on Friday, and will be here until February 1st, when he returns to Afghanistan. Kitson's working for the United Nations Office of Project Services, doing design work on a 105 kilometre road in the country's northwest.

He stayed mostly in Kabul, and found the biggest adjustment was seeing armed military in the streets.
Kitson found ordinary Afghans friendly once tribal chieftains accepted him.

They were also grateful for the road, which will be the first paved access the million people in the area have had with the outside world.

Kitson compares a middle class Afghan with someone living below the poverty line, and he's gained more appreciation for Canada's standard of living.