In 1976 when I was a young boy, my dad anounced he was going to be heading to Afghanistan for a few months on a work assignment. He was a mechanical engineer, off on a UN led infrastructure project in Kabul. He may as well have said he was going to the other side of the moon.
Afghanistan? Where in the world was that? This was before the Marxist Revolution, the Soviet War, the Civil War, the Taliban Emirate and Northern Alliance and the recent American involvement and way before the internet where a few clicks later one can be taken anywhere, see anything.
My dad took with him his camera and several rolls of Kodachrome slide film. He was gone for a few months over the winter of 1977. The project he was working on, if memory serves correct, was abruplty ended as the climate ahead of the 1978 revolution made conditions for foreign workers unsafe.
He returned to Toronto and as one did in the day sent off the films for developing. I remember one night where we watched the slides clunk in and out of their carousel and into the projector. This far away world was now being shown to us in our suburban rec room. There were many pictures of toilets, cables and machinery (as one would expect from a working mechanical engineer). And there were many magnificent landscapes (which really did look like the otherside of the moon!).
And that was that, normal life resumed. I grew up and my parents grew apart. My dad eventually moving to Nova Scotia and my mother to Mississauga. Before you knew it forty years had flown by.
It was about a year ago I asked my dad if he knew where his Afghanistan slides were, with thoughts of digitizing them and revisiting them, he said he wasn't sure but knew he didn't have them. They seemed to have been lost in the shuffle of moving houses etc. He had some, but these the mechanical / professional ones. I asked my mother one day and she had no recollection. It seemed as though these slides were lost forever.
That was until April of this year when I was visiting with my mom. I was looking through some old items she has been saving and there were some vintage Kodak slide boxes. Wow, I thought, could they be! Of 5 boxes, it turned out that there was a box and half of slides from Afghanistan! Of the approximately 80 slides, there were about 15 or so which capture the time and place as seen by my dad on his trip. I have had these scanned and am posting here so he can see them and they can be shared easily. There may be more, memories suggest so, but unless they are in another box or found at a later date, this is it.
I hope you enjoy this small time capsule view of a part of a world so very far away - in time and place.
Photos by: Bruce G. Raymond, 1977
Thank you for viewing.