I had the most incredible luck to be able to travel to the remote mountainous area of Badakshan in the North-East of Afghanistan. The most beautiful landscapes, huge mountains and lush valleys that make you feel nostalgic very easily. You feel very small and feel the enormity of nature.
It’s however also the region where maternal and child mortality is the highest, education levels the lowest, simply because of the remoteness of the land. There’s little infrastructure to accommodate the needs of the people living there. It’s a region that’s very dependent on the elements and while I was there you could still see the immense destruction the floods and avalanches caused during the past winter.
We traveled with descent 4×4 wheel drives, but because of the destruction on the (barely existing) roads, one of our cars ended up getting stuck in the water and a makeshift rescue operation had to be conducted. Of course adding to the already existing adventure and nat geo feel of the journey.
In the end we were able to get the car free and were on with our journey. However, it does make you think a lot about the people living here who don’t have the cars like we had.
Imagine a full term pregnant woman having to travel a few kilometers like this on a donkey or even on foot to reach a health facility that may or may not be able to help with the delivery or have staff on hand to assist. Not even thinking about possible complications that could arise during the delivery…