Tag Archives: people

The Amazon….

The Amazon… she is an immense, lush, sultry, sweaty, dangerous rainforest, and a powerful, vast, convoluted river which both gives and takes of life.  Her forests cover over 1.6 million square miles and span the borders of eight South American countries.  Her over 40,000 species of plants and trees produce more than 20% of the world’s oxygen and rivers carry more than one-fifth the fresh water in the world.

The Amazon is also home to over 300 species of mammals, 1,500 species of birds and 300 species of reptiles, with an average of 120 new species discovered each year.  She is as impressive as inhospitable, and we humans cling to her shores in stilt villages to protect again the floods.  Each year, when the rains come, her waters rise and fall with the rains, up to 30 feet, inundating thousands of square miles.

Right now is the time of flooding in the Amazon Basin, and last week I made my first visit to photograph and write a travel story for Traveler Overseas Magazine.

 

 

 

 

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The Displaced

Young IDP from Swat.  Living conditions are difficult in Yar Hussein Camp, Swabi, Pakistan

Pakistan’s crisis – 1.7 million people displaced.  In a three week period, over 1.7 million people fled bombing and shelling in their homeland.  By car, bus or foot, they moved south, to safety. Most of these Pakistanis from the Swat Valley have found lodging with friends, relatives or in community shelters made primarily of schools.  An estimated 20% however, had no where to go.

This 20% of the displaced are living in camps.

The largest of which is Yar Hussein in Swabi where the population surpasses 25,000.  The camps are hot and dry, put up makeshift in agricultural land outside of Peshawar.  They huddle under canvas UNHCR tents in 110+ degree heat; wait in long lines, three times a day, for food; share latrines; and bathe in an irrigation canal.  There are no schools yet, no clinics or running water, and they have no idea how long they will be there.

Living conditions are hot and crowded in Yar Hussein Camp.  Temperatures are over 100 degrees daily. Swabi, Pakistan

Young IDPs from Swat waiting in food line at Yar Hussein Camp. Some wait for hours to find no food left. Swabi, Pakistan

Young girls from Swat washing in an irrigation canal. Yar Hussein Camp, Swabi, Pakistan

A mother holds her sick 3-year old child. His severe diarrhea can be lethal in the soaring heat.  Yar Hussein Camp, Swabi, Pakistan

Men fight for the remaining pieces of bread (roti) being handed out at 11pm. Many have been waiting since 7pm for food. Yar Hussein Camp, Swabi, Pakistan

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