“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.”
On our one night in Sultan Eshkashim, a small Afghan town on the border to Tajikistan, we had a clear night sky and grabbed the chance to gaze at the stars. We wanted to make the most of our time in Afghanistan, and just like the country itself, the night sky didn’t disappoint.
As we stood there on the veranda, gazing at the blanket of twinkling stars above us in a moment of silence, I forgot all about what was happening around me. In that moment, all that existed was the two of us, all alone in the big universe. For a split second, I even forgot that we were in the middle of a warzone. When you hear the word “Afghanistan”, stargazing is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind. But on our one night in the country, that was exactly what we were doing. It was as peaceful as anything; quite the contrast to the place of madness that the country becomes in daylight hours.
Unlike the Earth, no matter where you are in the world, the night sky is always the same. The Milky Way is there whether you see it or not. The stars and the Moon are up there, looking down at us. The sky is always at peace. How I wish I could say the same about the Earth.
I usually complain about my camera’s inabilities, but that night I regained faith in it. It did an amazing job and I’m so pleased with the result of the pictures. I’m no professional photographer and my camera is certainly not the best, but these pictures are special to me, because they were the first I ever took of a starry night sky – and I took them on an incredible trip to Afghanistan. It just can’t get any more special than that.