...So, as we were pulling out of the clearing, we felt what seemed like a tug on the truck and then a sound similar to thick rope snapping. The drivers stopped the truck as we waited in the back. A few moments passed when they called us out. Appearing a bit on edge, the drivers pointed to the top of the truck and then to what looked like a telephone line lying on the ground. After a few minutes of us trying to settle them down,we decided to tell no one, and quickly headed back to the truck stop.

That evening, while huddled together in the back of the truck, we were startled awake by a sudden detonation. Our drivers told us to sit tight and not be afraid. Up until that point in my life I never thought I would have occaision to hear the murderous sound of an AK-47 rifle being used let alone the explosions of grenades and rocket fire, but that is exactly what followed. Having been jolted out of the dream world, everything was a bit unreal, almost surreal. Everything that is except for the fear I felt. That was as tangible as the best friends I was embracing at that moment. In them I felt the love and strength of everyone I had ever known up to that second. Together, we sheilded each other from harm.

If memory serves me correct, the majority of the battle ended within an hour, but the odd gunshot like unpopped kernels of corn in the noonday sun occasionally spoke up all night long. Sleep for the rest of the night was a bit restless as you may guess...

~Photo (c)1999 TwoFeathers~
--No matter where I went on my travels, I was always drawn to the children. Some I met were happy and playful. Others were angry and resentful and only wanted 'bakshish' or money. All of them, though, were beautiful and curious in their own way. These three I was lucky enough to meet at the moghul gardens in Srinagar--