Afghan Chronicles: Day Five, A School Gets A Library

Today was one of the days of shooting that will go down as one of one of the most fulfilling days of not only shooting, but most fulfilling days, period. When working on a project, there is a process.

First, it’s the idea, something is here, a story, I am not sure what it is, but I can’t stop thinking about it, and I begin to shoot. Then the doubt sets in, what am I doing? Am I wasting my time and everyone else’s? And then there is the inevitable magic moment, and it always happens, where it all clicks. The hard work pays off and the moment arrives where you think, there is no other place or task that I would rather be doing than what I am doing at this moment. It is a moment of grace and flow, and when it happens, I feel extremely grateful. It motivates me when I am not feeling the “flow.” The memory and pursuit of these moments get me out of bed in the morning.

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Afghan Chronicles: Day One & Two, Newark to Kabul

After an uneventful 14-hour flight, leaving Newark Thursday night around 11 p.m., I arrive at the New Delhi Airport on Friday around 8 p.m.

When I pass the throngs of people waiting for their loved ones, I am so excited to finally arrive in India, I smile at everyone and say, “Hi India!” Some laugh, probably thinking “great, another American dork.” I meet my driver Akosh, and my buzz kill is quickly extinguished. After a perfunctory welcome, he immediately tells me how his knees hurt because he has been standing for so many hours waiting for my plane. He talks about how he is supporting his entire family, parents, in-laws on a few rupees a month. We are still five minutes from the car.

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Afghan Chronicles: Day Four, Navigating a War Zone

2:30 a.m. I am jolted awake with a muscle spasm in my calve. I am off my exercise routine of daily running and weight lifting. Like a packed mule, I lug over 60 pounds of camera equipment, but the exercise is not the same. I move between cramped car to a shoot, scrambling to capture the story, and then settle back into a cramped car for an hour and then pounce again.

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Afghan Chronicles: Day Nine, Delhi in Less Than 10 Hours

I’m on the plane, heading to Dehli. N’Shallah.

At the airport, within 10 yards of each other, I pass three checkpoints where I am told to open my luggage.

One police officer would not let me advance to the ticket counter until I showed him “my International I.D.” International I.D.?! I never heard of one. He said everyone had one and I needed to call someone at ACKU to bring me one. If I didn’t produce one I couldn’t leave the country. Continue reading “Afghan Chronicles: Day Nine, Delhi in Less Than 10 Hours”