It was nearly dusk in the valley as we checked our harnesses. Everything secure, I jumped and grabbed hold of the bottom rung of the metal ladder and slowly pulled myself up until I could get my feet on it.
Children slowly creep around me, staring. Mothers look at me while nursing. Teens stop cooking, bathing, whatever they were doing. Some continue, purposely ignoring me as I wander around with my large camera, far more conspicuous than I wish I were. I want to know these people, understand them - so that I may share a real understanding with others... This is one of those times when I realize the impossibility of my self-assigned task.
It's pitch dark out. The only lights to be seen are the stars, which are more numerous than imaginable. And one small yellow beam of light a few feet in front of me. The wind is cool in my face. The sound a steady hum. I hang onto the motorcycle Joel is driving, wondering if I'm more excited or scared. Neither emotion wins, they're about equal. It's a beautiful and exciting way to travel and it feels like we are the only people in the world at that moment. But I'm also putting a lot of trust in my friend. He's driving very fast and we have no helmets or jackets on.