Riot Training 
Friday, May 20, 2005, 02:18 - Shooting, Personal
Camp Bondsteel

I have shot something like 30 rolls of film in the last ten days and I think that I have more than a few good images if the digital files are any indication. As time goes on I feel like I have gotten more of a sense, albeit an extremely limited one, of what life in Kosovo is like. One thing that is certain is that life on a dry Army base can be a little dull. On the plus side this is probably the most number of days I have gotten up before 7 a.m. in a long time.

American and Greek Soldiers train in riot control. ©Damaso Reyes

Today we went to one of the European bases to photograph the Crowd and Riot Control (CRC) training. They used simulated tear gas and some of the troops got to be angry Kosovars, giving the soldiers quiet a hard time. It was hot and dirty but a lot of fun, at least if you didn’t have people attacking you….

©Damaso Reyes
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Sunday, May 15, 2005, 23:03 - Shooting
Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

Today was pretty cool, I got to photograph at a MEDCAP, which is basically a temporary medical field clinic set up by KFOR solider to treat rural Kosovars who might not have access to doctors. There was an eye clinic as well as a dental clinic where the Army docs were pulling out teeth left and right.

An Eye exam. ©Damaso Reyes

A translator communicates this woman's medical history to a military doctor. ©Damaso Reyes

Children wait and watch as their mother has teeth removed. ©Damaso Reyes

A young Kosovar girl waits to have her teeth checked. ©Damaso Reyes

That reminds me, I should probably go to the dentist soon…..

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Sunny Kosovo 
Friday, May 13, 2005, 04:49 - Shooting
Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

Welcome to the Army!

The home of this man's son was destoryed the night before. ©Damaso Reyes

I have been in sunny Kosovo for four days now and I have to say being embedded with the U.S. Army is very interesting. Yes, there has been a lot of hurry up and wait, for instance I just got the proper ID badge I needed, apparently the badging people didn’t quite know what to make of a journalist, but I haven’t let it get in the way of me taking some good images. I will be here for close to three weeks and in that time I am hoping that I have a chance to spend time with a lot of different units and see how they operate.

Public Affairs Officer Major Wunn listens to a Serb tell his story. ©Damaso Reyes

One of the first things I got to go out on was checking out the scene of a Serbian house which had been destroyed by a mysterious explosion the night before. With the exception of the Serbs, it seems like most Kosovars are genuinely happy to have U.S. and KFOR forces around, something I bet the troops in Iraq wish were the case. More later….

2ndLt. Mills interacts with local children. ©Damaso Reyes

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The Circus 
Saturday, May 7, 2005, 22:43 - Shooting

So yesterday I went to the circus!

Roxy leaving the stage. ©Damaso Reyes

It was a small traveling show in one of the suburbs surrounding the city and it was interesting. I managed to spend a good deal of time backstage and got to know some of the performers including Roxy, a teenager who along with her brother are traveling around Europe performing in the circus. I think it was a nice way to end my stay in The UK. Tomorrow I head off to Kosovo. Wish me luck....

Roxy in her trailer. ©Damaso Reyes

Roxy backstage waiting to go on. ©Damaso Reyes
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Election Day/Night 
Friday, May 6, 2005, 22:16 - Shooting

Well election day was very long but highly productive. I spent the day with Brian Haw and his supporters. They started by driving around the district he was running for in a rented van with megaphones attached. Brian harangued Tony Blair, called for peace in Iraq and encouraged voters to come out and support him.

An Election monitor watches the results come in. ©Damaso Reyes

At the end of the day about 200 people voted for Brian.

We waited for the returns at a local community center where I alternated with hanging out with the extremely bored press corps holed up an a small room upstairs and spending time with Brian and his friends and family.

Waiting with reporters. ©Damaso Reyes

For them it was an emotional day. No one, not even Brian really thought he would win but I think there was part of him that was hoping against hope for a better showing. If nothing else Brian got to spread his message a little further.
Read the story I wrote on his campaign

Brian and a supporter after the results are announced. ©Damaso Reyes

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On the Street 
Sunday, May 1, 2005, 21:37 - Shooting

So London is an interesting town, no doubt about that. I have spent much of my first two weeks wandering about, getting to know the city and shooting on the street. Remember what I said about the English being polite? Well that was clearly a delusional fantasy. In New York when I get bumped into on the subway people actually say “excuse me.” Here they just carry on, stiff upper lip and all that. In general I have found people a bit distant but that’s neither here nor there. I am doing some interesting work. One of the things I find most amusing is that you can drink on the street here and a few days ago I photographed some soccer fans who took every advantage of that fact.

©Damaso Reyes

I also found an interesting character across the street from Big Ben. Brian Haw is an anti-war activist who has basically been protesting 24/7 against the UK’s and America’s involvement in Iraq. He is brusque and not all together intelligible but very interesting. I think I might take a few days and follow him around, as it turns out he is also running for a seat in Parliament and he could be the person that I follow around.

©Damaso Reyes
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