Photographer's Note

Another of my Life in Eshkashim series, but you will be happy to hear that it's the last one. I will post one more photo taken in that border town but it will be a landscape shot. All these images were taken during my first afternoon in Afghanistan. I returned to Eshkashim a week later, on my way back to Tajikistan. I had two hours, again in the afternoon, when I could have gone out and taken more photos but, unusually for me, I spent that time in my guesthouse as I was too unwell to enjoy photography. I did drag myself out for a short walk in the evening but then it was too dark for photos. I still regret it, even though it was a grey cloudy day.

A few people have asked if I felt it was dangerous to meet strangers in Eshkashim. Some of the Life in Eshakshim photos were taken while I was accompanied by Azim and some when I was on my own. But to properly answer that question I will tell you about my short evening walk on that last day in Afghanistan.

As I mentioned, I was not feeling well and it was getting dark. Soon I got lost and didn't know which turn to take to get back to my guesthouse. In Eshakshim, a small town in a remote Afghan province, when it's dark it's dark. Street lights and neon signs have not reached that corner of the world.

I had no choice but to ask a complete stranger, a local man on the way back to his village, for directions. He spoke a bit of English (but was very apologetic he spoke "so little English") and not only walked me to the last junction from where I could easily continue, for about 20 metres, to my guesthouse but also offered that if I was not happy with my accomodation in Eshkashim, I could rent a room in his house. I politely declined, but not because I was scared. After a week in that rare, peaceful part of Afghanistan I already knew that people there were helpful and friendly.

In WS – two portraits of Eshkashim men.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1597 W: 9 N: 3247] (16832)
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