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  • We had been squeezed into the van for more than 5 hours, and it had not been an easy trip. It was a hot desert road, and we were going up and down, up and down, up and down. Stale, stuffy air in the cab and Arabic pop music on the radio didn't help. I eased myself down onto the floorboards and closed my eyes, willing myself not to throw up. I tried to pray, none too successfully.

    A while later our driver started to honk, and swerve, and I gritted my teeth. A herd of camels! Everyone got excited. I don't care, I thought to myself. I'm not moving. We pulled over, and my team started to file out, chattering, while I tried to calm my stomach. Come on, they implored me. Don't miss this ARRGH.

    I took a deep breath, swallowed my tongue and all my feelings, picked up my camera and my headscarf. I tromped out into the sand a few yards with everyone else, and pretty much pointed-and-shooted. I flipped my digital camera screen to look at the image and it caught me short; the camera was reminding me to see what was right in front of me.

    And all I could think was how thankful I was to get to be right here, right now.
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