Thursday, October 31, 2013

Colombia: Daydreaming In The Rain Forest

Some years ago, when I left a canoe to follow a Noanama man to his garden in Colombia’s Choco rain forest from which he needed plantain bananas, his son lay down to daydream while awaiting our return.
Il y a quelques années, quand j’abandonnai une pirogue pour suivre un indien Noanama à son jardin de la forêt colombienne du Chocó, d’où il ramenerait des bananes plantains, son fils s’allongea à se perdre en rêverie.

Huffpost: Death From Thirst in the Sahara


DAKAR, Senegal -- DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The governor of Niger's Agadez province confirms that 92 bodies have been recovered in the desert, after trucks ferrying migrants to Algeria broke down.
Col. Garba Makido told The Associated Press that the men, women and children died of thirst after being stranded in the punishing heat last month. Authorities were not alerted until a woman, who is among 21 known survivors, managed to walk to the city of Arlit, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of where the trucks broke down. The next day, Makido said, a father who had been walking with his two young daughters also arrived, though the children perished just before reaching the city.
The dozens of migrants were being smuggled along a well-established trafficking route to North Africa.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sahel: Wilderness Innocence

The Azaouak Valley, in Niger’s Sahel, offers unexpected surprises like this lovely littleTuareg girl.

La vallée de l’Azaouk, dans le Sahel nigérien, offre des surprises inespérées comme cette charmante petite fille Touareg. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Unnerving Evening Door Knocks

Last Friday, October 25, at around 7 p.m., my wife Martha came down to my basement office, where I rarely see her.
     “Some people are knocking on the front door,” she said. “Very hard.”
     “Hard-knocking people cannot be friendly,” I replied. “Relax and let them knock until they tire of it. My brother in Belgium always rushes to his door when his bell rings (we removed ours), and it always ends up costing him money somehow. We’re not expecting the Nobel price and don’t play the lottery. And if by chance our neighbors think it’s time for us to rake again the leaves on our lawn, let them come back tomorrow morning.”
     Somewhat reassured, Martha went back upstairs to her own computer. But she was down again five minutes later.
     “They keep knocking,” she said. “So it could be important. What if it’s my cousin Juan Carlos driving by?”
     “And what if they are thieves?” I asked. “We know no one in town and the knockers can only be a nuisance. As for Juan Carlos, he would not visit us without giving us a buzz first. And he would call out your name. Look, there is no law forcing us to open our door to strangers at night.”
     Not quite convinced yet, Martha went back up. But five minutes later she was down again.
     “Now they’re knocking on the back door,” she said. "And now I’m scared.”
     Finally realizing Martha did need my help, I pulled myself from my desk and went up to spy on the knockers. Hiding behind a curtain I saw the back of a woman pulling away a little girl with a bow in her hair.
     “Who in the world...? I wondered, stunned.
     And then I knew. Whatever the reasons, our town’s Halloween was being celebrated nearly a week early, something I might have known had I read the local newspaper. The repeated knocks had been from different groups passing by. And as we had not prepared early for the event we had no candy to distribute. Embarrassed, we had to keep playing dead until 8 p.m.  

Living Hell On Earth

Monday, October 28, 2013

Brazil: Yanomami Man Hunting Birds For Feathers

In Brazil’s Amazon rain forest a Yanomami Indian is climbing a tree in search of birds with colorful feathers to shoot down for body decoration.

En Amazonie brésilienne un indien Yanomami grimpe à un arbre à la recherche d’oiseaux dont les belles plumes pourraient décorer son corps.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

French Polynesia: Egg Poachers Under Attack

On the rookery of Motu Manu, off Ua Huka Island in the MarquesasArchipelago, sooty terns attack egg poachers.

Des hirondelles de mer attaquent des voleurs d’œufs dans une colonie de ces oiseaux sur l’îlot de Motu Manu, au large de l’ île de Ua Huka dans l’archipel des Marquises

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kenya: My Crew, My Camels In The Mathews Range

Kenya. Two of my three Samburu  expedition companions and three pack camels in the Matthews Range’s dry Milgis River. Camels are rarely ridden in Kenya.
Kenya. Deux de mes trois compagnons d’expédition Samburu et trois chameaux dans le lit asséché de la rivière Milgis dans le massif de Matthews.
To listen to my amazing friend Laurence Grobel being interviewed on radio, please click on

Larry, who I have  known since 1969, when as a Peace Corps volunteer he was teaching journalism in Accra, Ghana,  is a renowned interviewer of movie stars,  directors, and famous writers.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Niger: Tuareg Nomads Riding Camels Between Niger And Lybia

Niger. In the AÏr Mountains of the Sahara, Tuareg nomads are pulling camels to sell in Lybia, where they will fetch much better prices.

Niger. Dans les montagnes sahariennes de l'AÏr ces Touareg sont en route pour la Lybie, où ils vendront leurs chameaux à des prix très supérieurs à ceux qui se pratiquent au Niger. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Kenya: Turkana Expedition

In 1991 my American friend Jeff Barr and I explored the Suguta Valley, south of Lake Turkana. A sweltering semi-desert at the bottom of Kenya’s share of the Great Rift Valley, it’s one of the world’s hottest regions. Much of our pack donkeys ‘loads consisted of drinking water.

The valley was peopled by Turkana nomads. In 1973 I had photographed that tribe for a National Geographic book chapter. This time I wanted extra pictures of them for my own book, Wind, Sand and Silence: Travels with Africa’s Last Nomads, which Chronicle Books would publish the following year.

Jeff had been a teacher at the American school in Cali, Colombia, where two of my children were studying.  Coincidentally, we met again in Nairobi after he had had to leave his last teaching job in Mogadiscio, Somalia, after the American Embassy there had been attacked.  He, too, was looking for an adventure, and I could not have dreamed of a better companion.
En 1991 mon ami Jeff Barr et moi explorâmes la vallée du Suguta au sud du lac Turkana ouu sa rivière débouche. Ce semi-désert, au fond de la grande faille d’Afrique dans sa portion du Kenya, est une des régions les plus oppressivement  chaudes du monde. La charge de nos ânes de bât consistait principalement d’eau.

La région est peuplée de Turkana. En 1973 j’avais photographié ces nomades pour un chapitre de livre de la National Geographic Society. Cette fois je voulais ajouter à mes premieres photos pour mon propre livre, Wind, Sand and Silence : Travels with Africa’s Last Nomads. que publierait Chronicle Books l’année suivante.  

Jeff avait été professeur  d’une école américaine de Cali, en Colombie, ou deux de mes enfants étudiaient. Coincidemment, nous nous retrouvâmes à Nairobi. Il venait de fuir son nouvel emploi, dans une école américaine de Mogadiscio, en Somalie, après une attaque à l’ambassade américaine. Comme moi il cherchait une aventure. Et je n’aurais pu rêver d’un meilleur compagnon de voyage.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kenya: Turkana Moran

Kenya near Lake Turkana. Turkana man with hair elaborately molded under decorative red and gray clay. Small copper tubes inserted in the clay allow the Turkana to proudly stick an ostrich feather inside one.

Kenya près du lac Turkana. Nomade Turkana. Ses cheveux cheveux sont moulés sous de la décorative argile rouge et grise d’où jaillit une plume d’autruche.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Back From Belgium

I just returned from spending a couple of weeks with my family in Belgium. I will now be posting new pictures and stories more regularly again. After catching up with my work I will dedicate some time to a story on Colombian grave robbers I once photographed.

Je viens de rentrer d’une visite de deux semaines à ma famille en Belgique. Maintenant je pourrai de nouveau m’occuper plus activement de ce blog. Lorsque j’aurai terminé le travail qui s’st accumulé durant mon absence je me consacrerai a une histoire de voleurs de tombeaux précolombiens  que j’ai photographiés à l’œuvre.

Kenya: Handsome Turkana Nomad

In Kenya, near Lake Turkana, a Turkana nomad is resting his head on his headrest while lying in the sand of a dry river bed. When sleeping, his headrest serves as a pillow. He needs it to protect his hairdo. His hair is artistically caked with red and gray clay. Copper rings inserted into the clay allow ostrich feathers to be planted inside, like the white one displayed. Like all Turkana men, he always has his headrest tied to his wrist. That headrest is also useful to sit on thorn-covered ground. His right wrist is armed with a circular knife. In a fight he will take off its leather cover.

Au Kenya, près du lac Turkana, un nomade Turkana repose sa tête sur support qui ne le quitte jamais. La nuit il lui sert d’oreiller—un oreiller qui protège sa coiffure artistiquement élaborée avec de l’argile rouge et grise d’où jaillit une plume d’autruche blanche. Ce support est également très utile pour s’y asseoir sur un sol jonché d’épines. Son poignet droit est entouré d’un couteau circulaire. Il en retire la couverture de cuir quand il se bat.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Afghanistan: Kuchi Caravaneers Cooking Lunch

Afghanistan (1965). Kuchi (Pashtun) merchants have stopped their camel caravan along a stream near Bamyan to cook lunch.

Afghanistan (1965 ).  Des marchands Kuchi ont arrêté leur caravane de chameaux le long d’un ruisseau près de Bamyan pour préparer leur repas de midi.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Afghanistan: Kuchi Nomad Herding Goats And Sheep

Afghanistan (1965). A Kuchi (Pashtun) nomad herds goats and sheep through a dusty alley of Qarabagh.

Afghanistan (1965). Un nomade Kuchi (Pashtoun) mène son troupeau de chèvres et moutons par une allée poussiéreuse de Qarabagh.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013