That said, between the elections, Burn a Koran Day, and the PRT's own internal travel schedule, I've been swamped, and the last thing I've wanted to do when I get home is sit down and write. I keep telling myself I'll catch up, but it's unclear when that's going to happen.
I'm sprinting off again tomorrow to a conference that will be interesting from a work standpoint, but that will also be something of a mini-vacation inside Afghanistan. I was asked to give a presentation on political reporting, which has been a good chunk of my baileywick here in Farah. I made a powerpoint as a matter of course, but since powerpoint is the worst medium on earth, I kept the words to a minimum and included a photo on each slide. The majority of the photos were stolen from our PRT's photographer, Senior Airman Paparazzi. He's an incredible photographer, award winning within the military, and stealing from him is far better than wading through the thousands of bad photos I've taken here.
I keep telling myself that one of these days I'll catch up on writing. In the mean time, though, I thought I'd toss up a few of Airman Paparazzi's photos from our recent trip to the farflung mountains of Eastern Farah, as a placeholder until I actually get around to writing about it. None of these are necessarily representative of the district we were in -- but they're such perfect photos from a composition standpoint that I can't tear my eyes away from them.
In advance of the elections, these sorts of posters were everywhere. They each carry the candidates name and photo, a brief statement, and the candidate's number and symbol, a common practice in countries with high illiteracy rates.
This policeman was one of several guards posted during the district shura we were attending.
The huge cloud of dust is from a helicopter landing in a dirt field, not an explosion. I had exited a different helicopter in advance of this one landing.