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Back on the road
Lioness with cub, Maasai Mara National Reserve, June 2022
My apologies for not writing sooner.
I was given a job in Afghanistan for the last few months. It’s an interesting country but there are others—so wanted to move on somewhere else for a while. Writing here now from the coast in Kenya, more on that later. This last time in Afghanistan luck meant visiting Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, where Mullah Omar had visited the Mosque of the Cloak and worn the Prophet Muhammed’s clothing declaring himself a Caliph. We didn’t get to the mosque but did find many men in Kandahar had never agreed with those in Kabul, never wanted to send their girls to school and were very happy their brothers were in power. Meeting these opinions, talking to people outside of the places where things are easier I got a fuller picture.
Our luck grew and we visited Lashkar Gah, seeing the last poppy harvest, young boys ate the seeds from the pods in the sun. Girls played in the fields too but closer to home, women weren’t much seen. There was a plan some years ago to get these farmers to grow pomegranates, it took too much water, the new plan is to grow saffron, it may work, who knows, but I don’t think the world is going to stop doing heroin. There’s lots to say about the place and I’ll be back, but let’s move. I know this is something to keep doing—travelling, learning, taking pictures. It doesn’t pay too well since lots of people want to do it, that’s no surprise, so I work then travel, if it’s both at the same time, magic.
I need to be sensible and think about when I cannot work anymore—who knows when that is, so save up, buy a small place so at least I have somewhere, I want to solve this problem. Most of my friends have already done this but I’ve been very successful at screwing things up until now, that’s fine, better late than never. I can’t see how I’ll buy a place in the UK so instead looking for a small place in the sun. Athens? Close to Istanbul from where it’s easy to get to work in the Middle East. Barcelona? A friend tells me I’m too old for Barcelona. Screw you, Dan.
Then another friend said “Come to Kenya”, it sounded a good idea, and he wasn’t wrong. I headed down to shoot photos. Nairobi. Could it be Kenya? Why not? After a couple of days in the city, I went to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, on returning saw other areas in Nairobi, where the UN lived, where the expats lived, visited old friends. Then got a small plane to Kilifi, a small town on the coast with beautiful beaches and kite surfers. Could it be Kenya? Why not?
Kitesurfing instructor, Kilifi, June 2022
I have over a thousand photographs from Afghanistan, but I’ll start sharing images from Kenya. And then the next place wherever that may be, it may just be here. If you haven’t visited Kenya, I’d say do it, as my friend told me to.
I’ll see you back here soon,