6 days in the sand

I’m currently writing this as I lay in the sand in the middle of nowhere. The sun is beating down on us through our improvised sun shade, sand circulates with every breath of warm air that helps us to rest our sweaty dirty bodies. This is only day two and already the Taliban are not the only enemy out here, the sand gets in every place possible and as the heat rises, so does the discomfort. We have a time window of pain out here in the desert, from 6 am as the last part of the cool night turns to dawn, till 6 pm, it’s as if the devil himself opens the gates of hell and the heat fills the landscape with 40+ degrees of heat. During this 12 hour window, the growls of discomfort echo from each vehicle, “this is shit” one says “I hate fucking sand and armour” (reference to the vehicles we use) another says. Throughout the day, we rest, we close our eyes to think of all the good about being at home brings us (loved ones, family, real food, cool air, cold water and a shower) and then we open our eyes to the reality of where we are just as our lungs are filled with the dry heat and sand followed by a gulp hot water to rehydrate. It’s now late afternoon, the sun is at its highest, hottest and most fierce, another roll of sweat leaves my body collecting sand, as I rub my eyes to remove yet more sand and convince myself to take another sip of warm bottled water I suddenly realise I have 5 more hours to survive until the devil closes his gates for another night and the cool air will allow me some sleep.

This is my life and this is Afghanistan.





About robgrimesphotography

Experienced and enthusiastic, I have a real passion for photography that I have gained over the years and that shines through in my pictures and my portfolio. I specialise in capturing those spontaneous moments that we otherwise could lose, either at your wedding or on a relaxed family shoot of your choice. I am always happy to talk about photography, so if you think I might be the right person to take your photographs then give me a ring to discuss your pictures, they are yours after all. Also a full time serving soldier in the Infantry in the British Army, but soon to be leaving the forces after Project Afghan finishes.
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15 Responses to 6 days in the sand

  1. crissirossi says:

    Hey Rob! I am loving your writing and following your every post and I am full of admiration for you guys out there…I won’t complain about our weather anymore! HUGS x

  2. Peter says:

    Stick with the shit, Rob and keep your head down! Thomo and Penny send you best wishes. Peter

  3. hi rob great photos keep em coming,dont know how u r coping but keep it up and you and all the personell keep safe and well hope you get some rest !!!!

  4. Anna says:

    Hi Rob, Am really enjoying reading your great posts, and pictures, I have great respect and appreciation for everything you guys are doing out there, we don’t have the right to complain about anything in the UK,while you guys are expected to live, and work in such harsh conditions….take care, and stay safe out there

    • robgrimesphotography says:

      Thanks Anna, its just a job, that most of us kind of enjoy so we just get on with it x

  5. Luke Heikkila says:

    “Embrace the Suck”…your post reminds me of a crusty helicopter contractor who wore a sticker on his helmet that read “Embrace the Suck”. Thank you for your efforts, commitment and ability to capture your thoughts. Take care.

  6. scott rougia says:

    Hey Rob, Your writing is just as beautiful as your photos. Because of people like you, people like me get to live a life of freedom. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day. I hope your time there is goes as smooth as it possibly can and that everyone comes home safely. Take care of each other. Thank you for all that you do.

  7. valkyriepics says:

    Survive. Love,
    Esther xx

  8. Kristin says:

    Hey Rob. I was going to say something slightly smart-arse, like “when life gives you sand, build sand castles”, but I suspect you wouldn’t totally appreciate that sentiment. 😉 love the photos, keep at it!

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